Artisan

I hate the word artisan as it applies to food. Everyone these days is selling artisan cheese or artisan bread or artisan chocolate. This adjective could be replaced with a blank space and the expectation of what the food is would not change at all. It is common knowledge that the FDA allows companies to abuse food descriptors like ‘natural’, ‘fresh’, ‘organic’, and ‘free range’. Even the word ‘blueberry’ doesn’t mean you are actually eating blueberries. It is past ridiculous.

But that’s not why foods being described as artisan rub me the wrong way. It’s because this is just a way to make your food sound more pretentious. It isn’t akin to the labels of ‘angus’ beef, or ‘applewood’ smoked bacon. These things, while overrated and essentially meaningless, at least actually exist. Angus is a breed of cow (yes, McDonald’s buys them) and applewood is just bacon smoked with wood from apple trees (as opposed to non apple trees). Artisan, however, is just a buzz word that doesn’t even bother pretending to offer a tangible benefit.

Dominos Pizza just introduced a new line of artisan pizza and apparently some people are upset with their use of the word. OMG what are all the honest to goodness food crafters going to do? I’m delighted this is happening because it will clue the public in to the fact that the word is absolutely meaningless. Besides, if people are confusing your gourmet pizza with Dominos because of the qualifying adjective, then you’ve got bigger problems.