It’s the (New York) Water

Ordinarily I don’t blog about products I see at trade shows, because we have product listings for that kind of thing. But this one was just too delightfully weird for perfunctory treatment.

You know how beer commercials sometimes extol their use of Rocky Mountain water or whatever? Apparently the secret of a real New York bagel or pizza is the city water used in the dough. Or that’s what New York WaterMaker would have us believe.

New York WaterMaker is a treatment system whose purpose is to make water from any source taste and act like New York’s. No lie. It can actually, according to its creators, replicate water from any city through sample analysis, but Big Apple water is most in demand.

At the recent ProFoodTech show at Chicago’s McCormick Place, the New York WaterMaker booth was fronted by VP of sales Gary Lane, an enthusiastic barrel-chested man with a company jersey that featured Yankees-style pinstripes.

“You ever tried to get a New York bagel anywhere outside New York?” Lane said. “You can’t do it.” And it’s got nothing to do with boiling the dough or any kind of technique, he said; it’s the allegedly unique combination of minerals and other chemicals that comes out of New York taps.

This isn’t the first time New York tap water has been commercialized. About 10 years ago, entrepreneur Craig Zucker started selling Tap’d NY – $1.50 for a 20-oz. bottle of New York tap water. The effort got a lot of attention, not all of it entirely positive, and by now it’s apparently down the drain: tapdny.com now leads to a case study hosted by a website design company.

WaterMaker has been getting attention too, with a cover story in Crain’s New York Business and mentions in Forbes, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

So if you’re nostalgic for the taste of New York water, or bagel dough made from it – or think your customers might be – the folks at New York WaterMaker will be happy to hear from you. If not, fuggetaboudit.