Gordon Edgar on the Death of "Artisan"
Gordon Edgar doesn't like the word "artisan" and after reading his reasoning, you may find that you don't like the word either. Check it out, it's a great post:
In the natural foods world, many small companies became hugely successful creating products in opposition to the processed foods that dominate U.S. supermarkets. Now, of course, many of those companies are owned by the huge corporations* that also make that processed food. Also, increasingly the “artisan” American cheese companies that helped bring us the cheese revolution of the last twenty years are being bought by larger European companies.**
Which doesn’t mean that things are hopeless for people wanting to make hand-crafted, high quality cheese. “Artisan” is just a word and an obfuscating one at best. I’ve always thought that in many ways the microbrew, craft beer model is more applicable to cheese*** than the wine business model, and Big Beer tried to do all sorts of fake micro-brews but the small beer business is solid.****. Once people taste handcrafted, well-made, well-aged cheese, they are hard to fool with imposters.