Artisanal food includes breads, cheeses, fruit preserves, sausages, beverages, oils and vinegars that are made by hand using traditional methods by expert artisans, known as food artisans. For many, the image that is evoked of artisanal food is that made by hand by a skillful creator from pure local ingredients. Hopefully, the bread will be a little irregular and will look a little different from the one that shared a place in the wood-burning stone oven. Its flavor and texture would be superior to those of manufactured bread.
These are unlikely conditions in which fast or frozen foods are obtained and manufactured. Among a long list of artisanal foods, bread, cheeses, fruit preserves, cured meats, sausages, beverages, oils and vinegar are very popular. In fact, everything from beer, ice cream and pastries to pickles, pancakes and pizza has been described as artisanal to promote quality and distinction. Like SaltWorks, while some elements of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas production have certainly been mechanized over the years (bottle filling, temperature control and labeling, for example), there is human interaction in every aspect of production.
For bakers like La Panzanella, artisanal generally means staying true to the ingredients in the product. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an artisan as “one who produces something (such as cheese or wine) in limited quantities, often using traditional methods. From the rise of small, specialized names in specialty stores to the big, iconic brands on supermarket shelves and the rise of home-delivery businesses for prepared food at home, artisanal food companies seem to be thriving. Ardent Mills, of Denver, supplies sprouted whole wheat flour and organic whole wheat flour, flours and grains from old grains to artisanal bakers to meet the needs of enlightened diners.
Based on the Italian word artigiano, artisan originally referred to a skilled craftsman who carved or carved an object by hand. It defines natural as reference to the source of the ingredients, while artisanal refers to the creation of the final product. Nowadays, even fast food chains, pizzerias and manufacturers of frozen prepared foods use the artisanal label to distinguish their products from the most typical products. So can artisanal foods be produced automatically? Nielsen says that the process really has to be authentic.
In addition, artisanal foods have been associated with fresh, unprocessed, or minimally processed and often locally sourced ingredients. The valued younger consumer is skeptical of product claims and will surely see the “artisanal” claims of mass producers with a grain of sea salt. Some high-volume companies that use artisanal terminology may be clouding the meaning and making it difficult for smaller companies to compete, says Argie Liarakos, general manager and vice president of operations at Artisan Specialty Foods.