What is the meaning of artisanship? The line that separates a handcrafted ware from a machine-made product is blurring as consumer demand for authentic foods over commercial ones grows.
Author Hanna Raskin (of Seattle Weekly, a sibling paper) researches that in her cover story, "The artisan food movement digs for gold: Are fiscally ambitious heartlanders running afoul of food's haughtiest label?". The piece delves into the world of artisan food production, from jams and chocolates to pickles and popsicles, questioning what "artisan" really means and how business owners' bottom-line goals interact with their desire to produce high-quality foods.
Producers using traditional, handmade methods have to make decisions about how to grow their efforts without dishonoring their principles -- like high quality and integrity -- while fearing dismissal by other artisans for veering away from intimacy with their product. Meanwhile, companies like Dunkin' Donuts and Domino's have hijacked the term "artisan" for its commercial cachet, testing the limits of what the word means -- and doesn't mean.
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Read on to find out more about the state of the artisan food world: "The artisan food movement digs for gold," published online in this week's Westword.