Artisan, a word that meant: one that produces something in limited quantities using traditional methods, has lost all its meaning over the past six months when international restaurant brands Domino's and Dunkin' Donuts began selling "Artisan" products.
Born in 1538, from Middle French and Northern Italian parents, Artisan is best known for defining craftspeople like silversmiths, cheese and wine makers, luthiers and other highly talented individuals in the culinary and visual arts and trades.
Artisan has been suffering from overuse for several years, beginning with its adoption by Starbucks in 2007, but its demise quickly accelerated in 2009 when Wendy's introduced its Artisan Egg Sandwich "Made with fresh cracked Grade A Eggs, natural Asiago cheese, freshly cooked Applewood Smoked Bacon or all natural sausage and Hollandaise sauce all atop a honey-wheat artisan muffin toasted to order."
In 2010, Artisan was put on life support when the world's largest snack food company introduced Tostitos® Artisan Recipes® tortilla chips. Mass produced, but formed and packaged to look hand-made, these chips opened the floodgates for other non-artisinal applications.
Artisan is survived by the words craftsman, handworker, handicrafter, tradesman and artist.
There will be no memorial service, but family members request purchases be made in Artisan's name at local bakeries, restaurants and other independent retailers.