It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With the hustle and bustle of parties, presents, and cooking, you don’t have time to worry about hard water ruining not only your appliances but your food as well. The white, grey, and green residue that you find on your faucet, and across your sink are mineral deposits from hard water. This water can run amok on a southwest Florida household: destroying plumbing, cutting the longevity of appliances, and even altering the taste and smell of your food. Don’t be so quick to blame your poor cooking skills for a holiday dinner gone wrong. There are several ways in which hard water could be culprit.
If you’re cooking with hard water, the length of time it takes to prepare your meal will begin to increase. Hard water contains mineral particles that absorb a percentage of the water’s heat, causing the boiling point to raise. Beans, rice, potatoes, noodles, and other foods cooked in water will take longer. This time extension includes simply blanching produce. Many expert chefs can tell if rice has been cooking in hard water based on the hardness of fully cooked rice. A stovetop mac and cheese to keep the kids from “starving” before Christmas dinner could take double the time with hard water.
When using hard water for cooking vegetables, the chlorine in most tap hard water may cause the produce to lose color. This effect causes their appearance to look bleached or pale. Whether boiling or steaming, if using hard water, these adverse changes on your food take place. Most Southwest Florida city tap water alters the texture of your vegetables, turning them tough and rubbery instead of crunchy. The vegetables can easily absorb the smell and taste of your water, as well. If you are cooking with hard water that contains any traces of sulfur, this may significantly affect the aroma of your food.
Professional Chef’s such as Rachael Ray will continuously tell home chefs to season the water that holds the pasta noodles. The reason being this is the last availability to season your noodles before creating the dish. With this rule ringing true, think of the hundreds of contaminants in your water that are affecting the taste of your pasta.
Anyone that loves to bake knows it is different than cooking. While many people cook “to taste” with recipes, baking is a science that relies on measurements, chemistry, and ratios. When using hard water in baked goods, those added minerals and particles in the water can throw off the chemical balance of recipes. The most known disruption is the change in the structure of gluten and yeast caused by dissolved minerals in hard water. Hard water can create hard and rubbery dough due to its impact on the fermentation process of yeast, causing a tightening effect. Hard water has a pH alkalinity level, while a more acidic water (lower pH level) is the preferable choice for baking. The hard minerals also create a problematic environment for proteins in flour to absorbs the water, causing tough dough.
Coffee and Tea
Whether it’s an early morning pick me up or an after dessert palate cleanser, coffee and tea are two of the most popular drinks. Offering your guests, a peppermint mocha coffee, or mint tea this holiday may cause them to shake their head. The main ingredient in coffee and tea alike is water. Using hard tap water to create these beverages will transfer the smell or taste of your water into the drinks you prepare. If you know your water smells like rotten eggs or tastes a bit off, your beverages will have the same effect.
Fortunately for you, Crystal Clear has the systems you need to fix any water issue you may have efficiently! Experts in the water purification field, and culinary world, both agree that Reverse Osmosis systems are the most effective way to remove 99% of all contaminants. At Crystal Clear, we specialize in whole house and under the sink Reverse Osmosis options. We also offer water softeners and sulfur eliminators with state-of-the-art technology and personalized maintenance from our technicians. Contact us today to test your southwest Florida home water, and keep your holiday meals fresh!