Update 6/18/13: As if to reinforce my message, an article came out called “Food companies work to make it look natural.” You can guess the rest.
We used to bring “artigianale” products home from Italy for all the reasons that the Slow Food manifesto raved about: the uniqueness, the good flavor and the story. Today this farmer’s market vendor whose products I really love fumbled with apologies that some labels left off “organic” and some flavors came in pre-cut varieties while others didn’t.
He seemed so embarrassed as customers hurled the questions. Finally I blurted out “It’s because they’re artisanal!” (After all, it said it on the package.) “Yes!” he exclaimed, a visible relief washing over him like rind to a hard cheese.
We’ve all become so accustomed to perfection and the overuse of the word artisanal, I think sometimes “we” forget that a little rag tag nature defines artisan-made products and is what makes them so charming. The pizzas are not mass-made to an artisan “formula.” The cookies are not deposited uniformly from machine to conveyor belt.
Artisan foods are perfect in their imperfection. Let’s eat the talk and love the flaws!