Artisanal Foods

Artisanal is a buzz word that has gained a new foothold in the food vernacular, and it is being used to describe the recent influx of food and beverage products from chocolates to cheese, jam, and gin that have been populating the shelves of specialty shops and crowding tables at farmers’ markets since not long after the start of the new millennium. Like so many similar monikers that have been adopted to connote a specific sense of values in production or quality—such as “natural” and “healthy”—the word is not regulated and has since been used by behemoth companies like Frito-Lay and Domino’s Pizza to describe industrial- or mass-produced goods such as crackers, potato chips, and pizza.

The word itself comes from the Italian word artigiano, which ...

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