what's "artisan"

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subfuscpersona

Sous Chef
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
561
I see the term "artisan" used to describe (yeast-rising) breads or bread making techniques. What does this actually mean? TIA
 

Brooksy

Sous Chef
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
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665
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I'm an Aussie, mate...
ar·ti·san [ ärt-zn, -sn ]
n.

A skilled manual worker; a craftsperson.


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[Probably French, from Italian artigiano, from Vulgar Latin *artitinus, from Latin arttus, skilled in the arts, past participle of artre, to instruct in the arts, from ars, art-, art; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

Maybe a tradesmanlike approach to breadmaking

Brooksy
 

marmalady

Executive Chef
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
2,642
Location
USA,SouthCarolina
Artisan is a term that's being applied to 'cooks' of all areas, who believe in preserving the craft of the food they're making. So 'artisan bakers' use old, time-proven methods of baking bread, sometimes using natural airborne yeasts, or fermentation processes. The bread they produce is very special - if you haven't tried it, I recommend you do!

On the same line, there are artisan cheesemakers, winemakers, etc. It's all part of a 'going back to the roots' of food production, in an attempt to bring food back to the way it should be, instead of the mass produced glop we've all gotten used to.

If you're interested, there's a whole movement, if you will, which supports not only artisan food producers, but sustainable agriculture development in third world countries. They're called 'Slow Food'; here's their website -

http://www.slowfood.com/
 

subfuscpersona

Sous Chef
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
561
thanks to all for the links - I also did a little googling so I'm now more informed. I originally thought it referred to a type of bread but now I see it's an approach to bread-making + a philosophy + (alas) an advertising term.

Seems best defined by what it excludes - e.g. not mass produced. Guess that means all us home breadmakers are artisan bakers.
 

Audeo

Head Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
1,871
Location
USA,Texas
Egads, Broosky! I saw that site several months ago and lost it. I've never seen so many incredible bread recipes before! Thanks a bunch! (I've book-marked the site now!)
 

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