At Osteria last night we learned that they don’t sell Pellegrino, but their own version of carbonated water, filtered in-house and served in reusable bottles branded with a Natura label. While our server Paul revealed that it was indeed carbonated Philadelphia tap water, I wondered what the eco-branding was all about. The Natura website reads:
Invented by Italians and engineered in America, Natura® Water is the only water purification system of its kind that provides chilled sparkling and still water. The taste is guaranteed to please even the most discerning palate thanks to Natura®’s patented three-step purification system that eliminates impurities while retaining healthy, thirst-quenching minerals.
Natura®’s unique approach to “gourmet water” was first developed in Italy, where water, like wine, is considered an essential part of every meal.
Italy has the world’s highest per capita consumption of premium water – twice as high as in the US. Italians pay exceptionally close attention to the characteristics and taste of their water, and even match it to their wine and food selections.
Interesting messaging there: a case study in Italian hyperbole. Hadn’t ever thought about minerals quenching my thirst before, or to compare water to wine. While Italians I’ve known definitely do choose their bottled water with intent, even the most gourmand have never suggested keeping different types (brands) of water in-house to serve with different foods….
Seems “Italianizing” water is both trendy and profitable, especially in “upscale” markets. While some restaurants in LA and San Fransisco charge diners for the “Natura” water, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Osteria did not.