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Spring water

Sharon wrote:

>	Is there a difference between spring water and mineral water?  Does
>mineral water have additives; is it just natural, and where is it
>available?  I buy the normal spring water in my grocery store but don't
>have a clue what the difference is.

It just so happens that over here in England there was an item about bottled
waters in The Times newspaper magazine this Saturday. It was of course about
bottled waters in the UK but it may be useful - or at least help you to ask
some pertinent questions at your grocery. To summarise the article it said...

The best water is NATURAL MINERAL WATER - all three words should appear.
This water must come from a specific source which is protected from
pollution, is free from harmful bacteria, and has not received any treatment
apart from carbonisation on exit.

The next best are SPRING and NATURAL waters. These can come from any natural
source but they can be processed and purified before bottling. The best at
this level are those which may indicate a specific underground source.

Bottom of the heap are TABLE WATER and PURIFIED WATER. They can come from
any source, including tap water, and can have been filtered and disinfected
before bottling. Some producers add mineral salts to improve the flavour.

So there you are. But to add confusion a group of experienced gourmets over
here recently blind tested a number of bottled waters of all types, with
some ordinary tap waters added in for fun, and half of them reckoned that
the tap waters tasted best!!!  So, if your tap water's safe, it's sure a
whole lot cheaper - and as you say, they are all fat free :-)

John Lee (UK)
e-mail jlee@xxxxxxxx