Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Gary Lane, vice president of sales, New York Watermaker, and Scott Godino, owner, Fly Pie, Las Vegas, about Fly Pie's usage of its Watermaker technology.

Liz Parker: How does the Watermaker technology work?

Gary Lane: The New York Watermaker system uses leading water filtration and replication technology to alter any water source’s profile to match the characteristics of New York water. The system performs multiple stages of filtration to disinfect, descale, and deodorize the water. Next, the water travels through a reformulation tank designed to alter the water’s properties so that the finished water will exit with a profile that matches the characteristics of New York water.  

LP: Why is the water so important?

GL: Water is the second largest ingredient in any dough mixture, making it just as important as the flour. Water’s role is mostly overlooked by many with the simple task of marrying all the dry ingredients together. However, it’s functions touch on many areas that can influence the finished product. At the forefront, a water’s taste, chemical content, pH level and mineral content have some noticeable factors. If the water has an unpleasant taste or smell it can alter the flavor. Chemicals such as chlorine and chloramine are widely used by municipalities to disinfect the water supply. These chemicals are used to kill harmful microorganisms in the water however, yeast is also a microorganism, and these chemicals can disrupt yeast performance during fermentation. The pH level most favorable for dough is around 7 which is a neutral level. Any higher or lower will affect the fermentation process. The mineral content relates to the water’s hardness or softness. There are minerals in the water such as calcium, sodium, and magnesium that the yeast eats for nutrition. If the water is too hard or too soft, it can affect fermentation times and the dough’s strength.

LP: Why is the water so important to Fly Pie?

Scott Godino: The water is so important because it is a main ingredient in the dough making process. You must maintain a proper PH balance when making the dough, which is difficult to do living in Vegas. The New York Water Maker helps us to ensure the consistency of our dough, which is the most important part of the pizza. The dough is the base of everything we do here so it is imperative that it is always consistently made. The New York Water Maker tests our PH and sends new filters quarterly so we know we never have to worry about our water for our dough.

LP: How did the inspiration for Fly Pie come about?

SG: Fly Pie's inception was a few years ago sitting with my management team and it came up that how is there no drive thru pizza? From there it continued to grow. We knew we had to create an experience on top of serving fast fresh pizza and quality service. We went to our first pizza convention and came up with the idea to make our drive thru a tunnel experience. Then by chance at our local bar Born And Raised I met my partner, Anthony Zuiker. He wanted to meet about the bars, and we ended up realizing we had the same idea for drive thru pizza, it was serendipitous. Anthony is the creator of the show CSI, so with his genius storytelling abilities we took Fly Pie to the next level with characters and shorts drawn by a team who has drawn for Pixar that are shown in our drive thru tunnel. We wanted to be a place for all ages where you can come get fresh, fast, and delicious food without having to get out of your car. 

LP: Why did Fly Pie decide to use the Watermaker technology?

SG: Fly Pie decided to use the Watermaker technology because we knew a friend in the business that used this, and we knew it would be crucial to our success. The dough would be much harder to replicate each day without the consistency of the Watermaker.  The New York Watermaker system takes all the guesswork out of getting my water right. For $13 per day, I have artisan water on-demand that I rely on as one of my premium ingredients for my target crust. I wanted to put out a premium product and I sourced all the best ingredients. I know the value water plays in a great dough and it’s not something I wanted to skimp on.  

LP: Any upcoming innovations/flavors?

SG: We are working on our second location as well as just put out our first limited time offer, which performed very well. We plan to do a new one every 60-90 days. Our first one was called the Beez Knees with pepperoni, jalapeno, freshly grilled pineapple, and Mikes Hot Honey. Our chef is very creative and we plan to always continue putting out different products.