21 August 2012

"Artisan" - what does it mean?

I thought this was a great explanation of the demise of the words artisan and artisanal and their vast overuse in food discussions. From the larger discussion here.

Kevin West of Saving the Season:

""Artisanal" is the Paris Hilton of food words – it went from obscurity to ubiquity in no time, and now I'd like to see that trajectory reversed. The first time I remember hearing it used frequently was in 2001, around the opening of Terrance Brennan's New York cheese-centric restaurant, Artisanal. Back then I liked the word because of its etymological roots in skilled craft – akin to "art" but with that special connotation of the practical arts, such as carpentry, iron-working, and making food.

In recent years "artisanal" has become a synonym for small, smaller, smallest – the Portlandia battle cry – and has grown shabby with overuse. Now that Domino's has unveiled Artisan Pizzas, the word is officially threadbare. Anyone who cares about food or language should put "artisanal" in cold storage for a century, in hopes that it may be restored and repaired by generations to come."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say if you must.

Don't be rude.