What do water and your holiday cooking have in common? More than you would think. Here’s how water affects your cooking from the baking to the turkey.

Meats

A study from The ARS Richard B. Russell Research Center in Athens compared the ability of very hard, moderately hard, and ‘soft’ water to rinse away bacteria from chicken. Results showed that reducing water hardness may increase its ability to rinse and remove bacteria from chicken during processing. Most people don’t know where their poultry comes from before the supermarket, so it’s a good idea to give everything a wash. With a water softener system, you can make sure your water is free from contaminants.

Vegetables

Fun fact: hard water has a higher boiling point- this means that water takes longer to boil, making the vegetable skins tougher and overcooking vegetables. Legumes with harder skins such as beans will also suffer when cooked in hard water. Other than taste, it may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re short on time cooking a holiday feast, every minute counts and no one wants to wait for mashed potatoes to boil!

Pasta

Hard water makes for hard rice and other pre-cooked starches like pasta. With its effect on gluten, if you’re making homemade pasta it will likely turn the dough tough and rubbery, unideal for a delicious dish. Coupled with the longer boil time, chances are you’ll be making sticky, soggy pasta that’s absorbed any of the potentially harmful and taste-altering minerals in hard water.

Baking and Desserts

Baking is the perfect mixture of art and chemistry. Dependent on an exact science, the addition of the chemicals in hard water can affect a great recipe, resulting in the rubbery dough, dry cakes, and poor fermentation in bread which in turn results in failure of water absorption, altered texture, color, and consistency.

Looking to get control of your water and your recipes? Call Lehigh Valley Water Systems for all of your water treatment solutions to guarantee consistently delicious water that will make your veggie casseroles, pies, and pasta dishes as delicious as you remember.

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