What are YOU laughing at?

When buying replacement cartridges for your seltzer bottle or siphon, be aware that there are two different types of identically-sized gas cartridges that you can buy at gourmet or party supply shops. One is specifically made for seltzer bottles and contains CO2. The other is made for cream whippers and contains N2O, a.k.a. dinitrogen oxide, a.k.a. nitrous oxide a.k.a. laughing gas…chuckle, nitro, buzz bomb, whippet, giggle gas, whoopee whiff…you get the idea. Teenagers have been inventing ways to open and inhale the contents of these little bottles for decades, though lately the little old ladies working in corner gourmet shops have gotten wise to the fact that the kids buying them aren’t pigging out on banana splits in the backs of those custom vans. Nope, even ice cream doesn’t bring THAT kind of smile to your face. But I digress…

The point is to make sure you’re getting the right cartridge when you shop. N2O will make bubbly water, but without CO2 there can be no carbonic acid, and without carbonic acid no “bite”. Try it and you’ll see exactly what I meant when I said that bubbles aren’t responsible for what we call “fizz”. Plain ol’ bubbles may be pretty, but in the mouth they ain’t tingly, and that’s what soda is all about.

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