Tapping Into Taste

Zev Starr-Tambor

What makes a New York bagel so good? The water. What if you could replicate the taste of a New York bagel with only a few drops of TapDrops, created by Daniel Starr-Tambor?

The 1996 East Hampton High School graduate launched TapDrops at New York City’s Javits Center during this summer’s Fancy Food Show. “We didn’t know what to expect going in, but the response to TapDrops was very positive and overwhelming,” Starr-Tambor said.

“TapDrops combines traditional culinary culture with modern molecular gastronomy to reproduce the concentrated ionic profiles of regional waters from around the world,” he explained. “When added to purified water, TapDrops replicates the ionic profiles of regional waters from around the world, introducing a new level of flavor. This is the future of national cuisine,” he continued, adding, “this supplement will allow you to stay at home and eat pasta, and with just a few drops make it taste like pasta from Italy.”

He shared his story about when he moved to Vermont, and then Hurricane Irene hit and he lost everything. He said, “The community came together to provide us with clothing, bedding, and shelter in an empty old house, across from which was the village inn.”

Inside that inn was an espresso machine that reminded Starr-Tambor of a family vacation to Rome, before they moved to the Green Mountain State.

“We spent a lot of time under café awnings, sipping espresso, waiting for the rain to clear — and every moment of it was magnificent,” he said.

That’s where the TapDrops idea came into play. He wondered why Italian coffee was so much better than the American, and it occurred to him that it was because of the water.

“During that time in Vermont, I had become obsessed with patterns, and TapDrops was one of the projects to emerge from that obsession,” he said. “I think the conflicting desire for escape and familiarity is what led to a real ‘a-ha’ moment, from which TapDrops was born.”

The obstacles that Starr-Tambor faced were the things that made him look forward, he said, and now he has created a supplement where your food can taste like its origins.

“Immediately it became a staple of our kitchen. We didn’t have much for cooking and baking, but we had the right water!” he said. “Soon we were sharing it with friends and family, and I found myself keeping up with requests for refills.”

Starr-Tambor added that TapDrops uplifts people’s spirits and brings a smile to one’s face. That’s what the end goal for the company is. Ensuring that everyone is happy because “that’s what it’s all about.”

“They say that playing Tetris reduces PTSD. Tinkering with TapDrops worked for me.”

With this new product now in the works, TapDrops is being produced out of Hope & Main in Rhode Island. Some of the cities’ waters replicated include New York City, Rome, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Vienna.

For more information, visit www.tapdrops.com.


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