What would a New Yorker be without a bagel?
It’s a serious question after all is said and done, like asking what a bike would be without wheels or a dog without a bark. Crunchy yet chewy, decked out with poppy seeds or cinnamon raisin, New York bagels just can’t be replicated. So what is it exactly that makes these bagels, and other New York style pastries and even pizza, the lip smacking delicacies that we all know and love? It’s the water!
The state of New York refers to the water from the NYC watershed as the “champagne of drinking water,” and to be honest, we agree. Not only does it make our hair sparkly and soft after a good shower, but it changes the taste of our food and is the key ingredient in typical New York noms like those corner store bagels and $1 slices.
According to the start up New York Water Maker, a company dedicated to replicating the taste and chemical composition of the water of the Empire State,
“Numerous tests have been conducted and all have come to the same conclusion that New York water gives baked goods a better texture and flavor when compared to other places such as Chicago and California. “
They go on to explain that the minerals (mostly magnesium and calcium) that are dissolved in the water throughout the journey from upstate, help the proteins in regular old flour bond together more tightly. This in turn gives our New York dough its elasticity. So, the higher the mineral content in the water, the stronger and chewier the dough becomes.
In the end, this makes sense. When the taste of pizzas and bagels across the country changes when all ingredients are kept constant, we have to wonder what it is exactly that makes New York bagels different from the rest.
So, thank goodness for New York’s century old filtration system. Without it what would our bagels be, and how would our New York identity change?!
You can check out more about the start up bringing New York water nation wide, here.
Featured image: 24.sapo.pt
Also published on Medium.