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San Pellegrino bursts, sparkling, from thermal springs with a high concentration of healthy minerals.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.

 

 

September 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

San Pellegrino Mineral Water

From A Thermal Spring In The Italian Alps

 

 

CAPSULE REPORT: Generally, we use this monthly column to write about a water people don’t know well. San Pellegrino is one of the most widely-distributed sparkling mineral waters in the U.S., and our favorite “house sparkling water.” We love the intensity of the mineral flavors, and we’ll tell you more about this lively water below. The company also makes four sodas from the same famous mineral water.

The town of San Pellegrino Terme (terme is Italian for spa or thermal bath) is located near Bergamo, about 70 kilometers northeast of Milan in the Italian Alps, in the Lombardy region of Italy. In a spot long known for its “miraculous” waters, the San Pellegrino springs are charmed in many ways.

The source is a spring heated by thermal vapors. The town, established in 1395, is named after a church built in the nearby Brembana MapValley (Val Brembana) in 1250, named for the martyred San Pellegrino, bishop of Auxerre and evangelizer of France. No less a luminary than Leonardo da Vinci, who wrote extensively about water, traveled to the source to study it and later wrote a treatise on the topic. Of course, the equipment to do a thorough analysis would not exist for another 500 years; the first chemical analysis was done in 1782. In 1827, a carriage road was completed through the mountain pass connecting San Pellegrino and Bergamo, vastly increasing the number of visitors in, and the amount of water that could leave, San Pellegrino. The water’s popularity grew in fame and a spa town developed where the well-to-do arrived to “take the waters,” both bathing and drinking at the Fonte Termale (“thermal fountain”), an opulent marble drinking hall. The water was first bottled in 1899 and San Pellegrino has never looked back. In 1988, San Pellegrino became the first Italian bottled water to be exported to France, and the water company was acquired by Swiss food giant Nestlé. In addition to its famous mineral water, San Pellegrino produces carbonated soft drinks (soda) made with the water: Aranciata (orangeade), Limonata (lemonade), Chinò (pronounced key-NO, from chinotto, a type of bitter orange, that is combined with herbs) and Sanbittèr (bitters).

Flavor Profile

Millions of years ago, glaciers created the San Pellegrino water basin, where three springs bubble up into a lake surrounded by steep slopes. The western slope of the basin is pure dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate); the eastern slope has a bottom layer of sandsone (quartz and feldspar) plus marl (mud that is rich in calcium carbonate), then a layer of gypsum (which is common to hot springs), some more dolomite and claystone. Under it all is limestone and volcanic rock.

San Pellegrino
The River Bremba, flowing through the town of San Pellegrino Terme. (This is not the source of the mineral water, which is a basin or lake outside of town.)

As rainwater falls to earth and into the ground, it is mineralized through contact with these different rock strata, which are heated by the geothermal gradient of the basin, picking up the unique flavor profile—in this case, a wealth of calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate and a very high level overall of Total Dissolved Solids (960, compared to Perrier with 475). It emerges at about 70°F from three deep springs that rise from an aquifer 1,300 feet below the surface. The water is not naturally effervescent; a charge of carbon dioxide provides its signature fizz.

READ OUR WATER GLOSSARY 
FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPRING WATER, MINERAL WATER
& MANY OTHER WATER TERMS.

Many people don’t like a high concentration of minerals in their water—they prefer water to be flavorless. Those people are not likely to be fans of San Pellegrino. But those who are will appreciate its robustness and ability to accompany fish, meat, cheese and other assertive foods. We enjoy it as a refreshing glass of bubbly anytime.

WATER

San Pellegrino Mineral Water

Origin
San Pellegrino Terme, Lombardy, Italy
Type
Sparkling
WATER ANALYSIS mg/l
TDS*
  960.0
pH Factor
  7.7
Bicarbonate
  239.0
Bromine
  239.0
Calcium
  181.0
Chlorides
   57.5
Fluoride
   0.5
Hardness    N/A
Iron
   —
Lithium
   0.2
Magnesium
   53.5
Nitrate
   2.2
Potassium
   2.5
Silica
   7.5
Sodium
   36.1
Sulphates
  459.0
   

*TDS = Total Dissolved Solids

San Pellegrino

Sparkling Mineral Water

 

  • 1 Liter Bottles
    Case Of 12 Bottles
    $26.59*
  • .75 Liter Bottles
    Case Of 12 Bottles
    $26.07*
  • .5 Liter Bottles
    Case Of 24 Bottles
    $30.60
  • .25 LiterBottles
    Case Of 24 Bottles
    $28.88

Purchase online at AquaMaestro.com

San Pellegrino

*Club member prices. Also available at fine retailers nationwide.

Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.

 

© Copyright 2005-2014 Lifestyle Direct Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

 



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