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Pairing water with food??? C'mon now -- is this for real?

I read a post on another board offering the sale of prepaid reservations at a Chicago restaurant. The post mentioned that the price of the meal includes "water pairings." Admittedly, I'm not the most sophisticated diner around, but pairing water with food seems pretty farfetched to me. A bit of Googling on the subject turned up more than I ever would have imagined, including a soon-to-be-published book entitled, "Finewaters Guide Book -- A Connoisseur's Guide to the World of Premium Bottled Waters."

Should we expect to see water menus alongside the wine lists in our favorite restaurants? Is this to be taken seriously -- or is it a case of the Emperor's New Clothes revisited?

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  1. :) I think I may have made a post about the water pairing thing. Yes, it is very unique. 45 pages of water pairing: http://eater.com/archives/2013/08/06/...

    I have never seen a menu that is 45 pages, let's alone a water menu for 45 pages. :P

    7 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      i just looked at their water menu...I geneally like the one with a nice balance and structure and with enough sweetness with slight acidity. The one that has chocolate note. It's just that i don't know which bottle has that characteristics.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        A 45-page water menu!!! That has to be the epitome of pretentiousness!

        1. re: CindyJ

          How about a water sampler, as is done with beers and scotch - 7 little glasses of water! Yum! Maybe some stale bread to go with it.

          1. re: Veggo

            Maybe a 10-page menu for stale breads ......

            1. re: LotusRapper

              Good idea -gotta cleanse that palate between waters!

              1. re: Veggo

                I think you two are missing the point. You need 75 pages of stale breads to go along with the 75 pages of water. One special water to drink along with one particular stale bread. This is why these are "pairing" water. 10 pages menu of stale bread is just not enough.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  That's why you're the Master Po and I'm the Grasshopper ......

      2. I'm going to go with option B.

        1. I heard through undisclosed sources that the new trend following the water-pairing is air-pairing.

          Bottles of street-level air from various foodie cities (Paris, NYC, SF, Buenos Aires, Rome, Tokyo, Sydney, HK, Singapore) are collected and released through high-tech HVAC systems in select Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. Currently there are no plans to collect air from Beijing or London due to healthy liabilities. In between courses, the restaurants' HVAC shall release the "standard" air of their respective cities, as to neutralize the patrons' olfactory, before proceeding to the next courses and paired air.

          Stay tuned, but don't hold your breath ..........

          8 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              And why little veggo (and I) prefer the Yucatan jungle.

                1. re: LotusRapper

                  I have mentioned this many times before, but you probably miss it. I am an orc.

                  http://www.wallpaper4me.com/images/wa...

                  http://i676.photobucket.com/albums/vv...

                  Among my race, we don't have a water pairing menu with our food. We don't tolerate BS like this.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    LOL ! This is too good.

                    PS: char siu bao is one of my fave comfort foods too. We got some real good ones here in town: NTB being one of 'em:

                    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/181263...

                    Look at that, eh ? :-D http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-k-uimwhb7OY...

                2. re: LotusRapper

                  I guess you have never driven through the Caldecott tunnel after spending a week in the Central Valley of California and been almost assaulted by the smell of salt and the dampness of a foggy summer evening in the Bay Area. Or deplaned in Singapore or Honolulu and smelled the rich ripe tropical air, dripping with floral scents - strong enough even to temper the jet fuel saturated air at the concourse. How about the ion charged air in the high Sierras after a thunderstorm? And it has been years since I have been in a snowfield, but can anyone really forget that smell? Waking up in the middle of the night and knowing it has snowed in the pitch black because of that unique smell. Why, it smells almost like… like… well, water! Air is anything but boring if you take the time to notice it. It's like saying that rice, potatoes, or bread have no flavor of their own.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    I agree with you, I love the smells of different countries (I haven't been to that many).

                3. What you like some freshly grated ice on that, M'am?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: DockPotato

                    "That depends where the ice came from, and how long it's been aged."

                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      According to pink skin (human), the temperature of aging is very important.

                    2. re: DockPotato

                      "Um, do you have 800,000 to 1.5 million year old Arctic ice core sample ice?"

                      1. re: Kate is always hungry

                        Waiter: "Yes in fact we do, Miss. We price it at $0.05 per 1000 years of age, the best value in all of Manhattan."

                    3. Molecular gastronomy has picked up on this, with sous vide ice cubes and sparkling water foam. However, several sous chefs were severely burned preparing the deconstructed water (hydrogen plus oxygen, I think).

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: therealdoctorlew

                        < several sous chefs were severely burned preparing the deconstructed water>

                        This is so sad. They should let the professional (engineers and scientists) handle the reaction. Combing hydrogen and oxygen is a very violent reaction.

                        1. re: therealdoctorlew

                          Molecular gastronomist should be required to take a few chemistry and physics classes in culinary school! '-)