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Holiday cooking with tap water? Beware those hidden chemical ingredients. The holidays are fast approaching. And that means inviting loved ones and friends over for scrumptious holiday meals. Before you start cooking, you will no doubt make sure you have all of your ingredients on hand – salt, pepper, cinnamon – all the basics. But did you know you might also be adding some additional ingredients – magnesium, calcium, chlorine. Wait? What? If you cook using tap water, all of these chemicals could be additional ingredients that you are accidentally adding to all of your cooking. Not only can these chemicals change the color and taste of the food you are preparing, they can also affect how those foods cook. If you’re planning on doing some baking, be aware that the minerals in hard water can actually change the structure of gluten and even affect the performance of ingredients like yeast resulting in dough that’s tough and rubbery. Another problem for bakers is that hard water tends to be rather alkaline but yeast tends to like water that has a lower pH – below seven. When cooking other parts of your meal, hard water can make things more difficult. Hard water takes longer to boil, which may not mean much when your doing daily cooking, but if you’re planning a complex meal, every minute counts. Some chefs say that cooking rice in hard water makes the rice tougher and that cooking beans in hard water takes longer. Some cooks say that if water has an odor, that odor can make it’s way into the final product. Finally, if you’re serving coffee, tea or other drinks that contain water, the end result is only as good as the water you start with. The solution: water that has been treated using not just a water softener, but also a reverse-osmosis system. An R.O. System will remove nearly all of the impurities in the water. If you’re ready to prepare the absolute best meals you can this holiday season, give us a call and we can install the right water purification system for your home in time for the holidays.