The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

I’m having a great time up here in beautiful Berkeley Springs as an official judge at the International Water Tasting Festival. It’s both wild and wonderful on so many levels …

  • In that there actually is such a thing as a “tasting” competition for water, a liquid that – at its best – exhibits virtually no taste.
  • That this tiny West Virginia town has, for 21 years, hosted what is now the largest and longest-running water-tasting competition in the world.
  • And that it truly is international in nature. In addition to a handful of waters from West Virginia and a heavy contingent from Ohio, others come from as far away as Colorado, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Argentina, Colombia, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Bosnia, Japan and South Korea.

Yesterday was full of interesting seminars (really!) on the history of water’s healing properties, water safety, conservation efforts and more. The actual judging happens today – in municipal, bottled, sparkling and purified divisions – but not before we esteemed judges are put through a training process to “learn” how to “taste” water.

I kid you not.

Check back later for a recap of what I learned, along with tasting notes from the judges’ table!