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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Does the water make a difference when boiling pasta?

Boiling pasta is one of the few things of which using cast iron is optional.

In other words, it doesn't make any difference in taste or consistency, whether you boil pasta in cast iron, or another kind of pot.

But I wondered if the water used to boil the pasta, made any difference.

See, the city water at my new house is terrible. I can't drink it, even with a filter. So we got a water cooler.

I wondered how that would affect boiling pasta; Would it make any difference in taste, if I used bottled water or city water?

So I experimented by dividing my pasta into two pots: one boiled in bottled water, and one in city water.

I sampled each batch several times. I don't know if it was a mind thing or not, but I did notice a very slight difference.

The pasta boiled in city water had a slight salty aftertaste, that the pasta boiled in bottled water did not have.

The difference was barely noticeable, mind you, but to me there was a slight difference.

I guess in the future, if I'm in a hurry and don't care, I'll use the city water.

But if I happen to be in a cook-off, or if someone happens to come over wanting to try my great cooking... bottled water it is.

I may or may not do this same experiment with rice. Actually, I prefer cooking rice in broth or stock.

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