By Lauren Fennemore,The Washington PostAn unexpected gift for your favorite chef: The handmade goods aisle of the grocery store.
A gift to yourself or your kids?
A gift for an upcoming trip?
A small, inexpensive gift for someone in need?
If you’re a foodie, you’re probably familiar with the term “artisanal food.”
It’s a term that describes products that were not made by a traditional company.
A food-related item like a cheeseburger, a coffee pot, or a bag of chips is called a “artisan” item, and that’s precisely what a large portion of American households spend their money on.
“In our country, there are a lot of people who don’t have any disposable income,” said Lauren Fink, the owner of the artisan-themed bakery MASSIVE Bakery in New York City.
“So it’s not really that uncommon for them to go out and spend money on something that is not necessarily made by the same company.”
Fink said that’s because artisanal food tends to be very inexpensive and often made by smaller, locally-owned businesses that can afford to make small batches.
She said she recently saw an ad on Facebook that featured a large assortment of artisanal cheeses and baked goods, including her own.
“It’s kind of a good example of how a little bit of creativity can go a long way,” she said.
“A lot of the time, when we think about what is craft, we don’t really think about artisan,” Fink added.
“Craft means something very specific.
It’s what you do with your time and your resources.”
Craft means different things to different people, so there’s no one perfect definition.
But Fink said there are certain aspects that seem to make for great artisanal products.
For example, a cheesecake is usually made with cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and flour, and it may not contain any other ingredients.
Fink’s artisanal desserts also tend to be low-maintenance and high-quality.
She prefers to use organic ingredients, like organic chocolate and organic coconut oil.
She also uses only locally-sourced ingredients.
“When you get a product that is handmade, you have to make sure that the ingredients are organic,” Finkle said.
“If the ingredients that are used are not organic, the finished product is not organic.”FINK said that while she thinks there are people out there who will not buy her products, she said she’s found some people who will.
“I do know a couple people who have purchased a lot more from me, and they’ve bought them with very small amounts of money, and I’ve sold them for a lot less,” she explained.
“I’ve sold some of my products that I thought were not that good.”
Some people have taken to Instagram to share their artisanal shopping adventures.
They use the hashtag #artisanal, and the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.
For many, the beauty of artisanals is that they are relatively inexpensive, making them an easy way to get things you may not normally buy at a store.
“If you want to see a different kind of food that is out there, I think that’s a really great thing,” Ficken said.
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Follow us on Twitter @WashTimes and Facebook for breaking news, top stories, and great deals. Check out this article from the New York Times for a look at how some chefs have turned their kitchens into artisanal destinations.