'It's the water' on Serious Eats

The Food Lab: Is Good Pizza Really All About the Water?

It's time for another round of The Food Lab. Got a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Email Kenji here, and he'll do his best to answer your queries in a future post. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] Just as the jocks like to stick together and nerds travel in packs, obsessives bordering on the psychotic (like me) seek out the acquaintance of others like themselves, in a manner that some say borders on the, well, the obsessive. The first time I heard that the mineral content of water might have an effect on the properties of bread dough was about eight... More

Dear Slice: 'Food Detectives' Investigates Claim That Water Makes NYC Pizza Great

Clicking in to the Slice inbox today, we've got a great piece of pizza TV intel from Tony Muia, the proprietor of the Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour. I just wanted to give you a heads-up about an episode I taped for the Food Network's Food Detectives, hosted by Ted Allen. The episode tried to disprove the idea that NYC water is what makes NYC pizza so great. They had John LaFemina, the chef from Apizz in Manhattan, make dough with water from NYC, Chicago, and L.A. I was one of the judges, along with Mario Cantone, Joey Ciolli from... More

Why Can't You Get a Good Slice Outside New York City? 'Wired' Magazine Says It's the Water

What makes these slices so good? From the latest issue of Wired: "Water," [Mario] Batali says. "Water is huge. It's probably one of California's biggest problems with pizza." Water binds the dough's few ingredients. Nearly every chemical reaction that produces flavor occurs in water, says Chris Loss, a food scientist with the Culinary Institute of America. "So, naturally, the minerals and chemicals in it will affect every aspect of the way something tastes." Batali himself encounters the water problem at his upscale New York restaurant Del Posto, where he makes traditional Italian food. The tap water in Manhattan is... More

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