Thursday, December 14, 2006

Non-Artisan Politics

To make a long story short (which is another way of saying "Buckle your seatbelts; it's going to be a long story), I needed some pepperoni.
Cranky and I picked up a vacuum-packed lump of "uncured" (nitrite-free) pepperoni slices at Whole Foods yesterday, but the checkout person wouldn't let us buy it. The bag had lost its suck, and ballooned into puffiness. Not good. So she set it aside and we paid for our raw milk (ouch, muy expensivo; expiration date still OK, but that's another story).
But I still needed a little bit of pepperoni for an upcoming scheme.
So we ordered take-out pizza.
Have you seen the Round Table ads for their Artisan Pepperoni pizza? A completely idiotic mishmash of lowbrow-meets-pseudo equals "a good time was had by all."
What I'd like to know is Who or Where is the Artisan who created this industrially mass-produced heap of hooey?
Look. It's burned. The roasted tomatoes are burned, the pepperoni is burned, the disgusting, shriveled worms of basil are burned.
This is purely marketing hype — a meaningless appropriation of an upscale term ("artisan") that, once appropriated, then had to be spoofed by the commercials to sell it to the downscale public.
I will say the pizza tasted pretty good (salty, yes, but that was expected, and too much tomato sauce as usual), and the thin crust is not bad at all for a chain restaurant.
Which is to say it served its purpose:
We were fed, and I peeled off a couple of slices of pepperoni to save in the fridge, awaiting my artisanal ministrations. Bwaa-ha-ha-ha!


Jennifer Jeffrey said...

Your artisanal administrations! I'm terribly curious...

kudzu said...

"Artisan" has lost every shred of its meaning these days. Safeway has its own Artisan line of mass-proudced breads; everywhere you turn there's another product with the title on the label. I challenge them all to look up the definition of the term. "Artisanal", a perfectly good word, kept getting spell-checked in my copy for years. Go figure......Meanwhile I am curious about the pepperoni caper.Xometimes my Italian in-laws started their sauce by sauteing a bit of thinly sliced pepperoni in the olive oil before adding the garlic, onions, etc. at the beginning. It smells wonderful and gives a pasta sauce a real kick.

Anonymous said...

Bad Round Table. The one in Pinole never burned my pie. Because that's the only pizza my mom will eat. Although she says there is no pizza out here that will ever compare to NY pizza.

Kevin said...

Don't you figure the pepperoni you picked off had nitrites in it?

cookiecrumb said...

Jennifer: Well, I'd tell you, but Kevin's listening. :D
Just wait a little...

Kudzu: No ciabatta for you! (Thank you, Jack in the Box.)
Yes, cooking with somebody else's sausage is such a neat way to introduce quick flavor. I'll be using my pepperoni sort of in that way.

Dagny: NY pizza is good. But it's (shh... is anybody here from NY?) all alike. At least in California we get to try inspired creations -- PROVIDED they are inspired and executed by competent cooks.
That said, I still like Round Table. :D

Kevin: I certainly do. I wasn't shopping for nitrite-free on purpose at WF; it's just what happened to turn up in a reasonably-sized (flawed!) pack. Meh.

NS said...

That pizza may have been burned, but it was artisanally burned -- by a real, live artisan manning the oven. Can't you just taste the extra care and expertise that went into that char?

cookiecrumb said...

NS: Aw, nuts. Now I just feel downright ungrateful.
Of *course* somebody was searing that delicacy especially for me.
How Grinchy. And to think that the few pepperoni slices I peeled off and saved were NOT charred. Oops, eh?

Stacie said...

what is your evil pepperoni-laced plan???
p.s. so will we have to steal back the word "artisanal" too? who are these people and is a dictionary on their x-mas list??

Greg said...

Good old American Marketing.Make a TV commercial and they will buy.I think I'll buy some artisan gasoline this weekend.

cookiecrumb said...

Stacie: Not telling! It's not any kind of big deal, but I'm saving it for something.

Greg: Ha ha ha! Good one.