We’ve noticed that Artisanal foods are becoming more popular with craft breweries. More specifically, they are popping up in taprooms at a pretty good rate. Heck, we’ve even purchased a nice brick oven for providing pizzas and other dishes to our patrons when we open later this year. However, isn’t this the same as providing any other type of food? This issue has been raised many times over by food critics and menu critics (patrons). At what point does the word Artisanal lose its true intrinsic value?
Many critics are suggesting that the word Artisanal itself is being overused unto a level that has made the word itself mundane. However, what exactly does Artisanal mean? Quite simply, it means hand-made. Yep, it is a slightly different way of saying you made it from scratch with fresh ingredients. Shocking, eh? However, the true mundane meaning of the word in no way detracts from the ohs and ahs it pulls forward when folks order such labeled dishes off of a taproom menu.
Ok, perhaps some folks don’t oh and ah, but there are those who are still truly impressed with unique words that are used on menus. Unfortunately, the word Artisanal has gone from unique to being just another label for food. We think that bites, to be honest, because we plan to offer Artisanal food after our opening later this year and we think the word suits it perfectly. However, that leads us to the difference in view of the word itself.
In the foodie community, much like the craft beer community, some words simply hold a deeper meaning for people. With the craft beer community, the word robust could be said to be overused at times. However, the word is used to describe a brew that has great depth, complex aroma, and more. As craft beer enthusiasts we understand that and we respect it. Just as food enthusiasts respect the Artisanal food label given to truly worthy dishes.
A truly worthy Artisanal food dish is not just hand-made. Nor is it just made with fresh ingredients. It is quite literally crafted to order, with locally sourced ingredients, with all of the care the chef would use to create their own personal meal. This adds an air of “special” to the dish that you won’t really feel if you’re just ordering a “large pizza with pepperoni” or a “toasted ham sandwich”. However, an Artisanal Ham Melt with Baby Spinach and your choice of in-house crafted bread certainly sounds inviting, right? This is just one example of how the title of a dish can truly alter how we view it.
Do you still like the term Artisanal or do you feel it has fallen off with over-use? Are there other terms that you feel have become bulky or obsolete? Tell us about them in the comments! We love hearing from our readers and your comment might spark our next feature post. Also, remember to stop by later this year when we open our doors to the public here in the Warehouse District of West Palm Beach. We already plan to feature great Artisanal foods, including pizza and a variety of others, with the true meaning of the word in every step. Until then, cheers!