Domino's Pizza announced recently that it is rolling out a new line of rectangular, thin crust "Artisan Pizzas." Now, in the food world, the term "artisan" tends to conjure up images of boutique producers (say, bakers or cheese makers), organic farmers' markets, Alice Waters, and trendy farm-to-table restaurants. Therefore, the fact that a fast food pizza chain would try to associate itself with such a trendy, high-end buzzword has been met with some skepticism and eye-rolls. But really? Domino's artisan pizzas might just be more legit than you think ...
It all comes down to how you define the word "artisan." Most people would probably agree it's typically used to describe a person who practices some kind of trade or craft that requires manual skill. So is making pizza verifiably artisan? Weeeeeell, perhaps. After all, Domino's says its new pizzas are rolled out with a rolling pin and delivered in boxes hand-signed by whoever made it. In a sense it does: Rolling it out requires manual skill and the autographed boxes give it that personal touch. Er, right?
The problem, of course, is that the "We're Not Artisans" message on the Domino's pizza box does nothing but confuse things:
We don't wear black berets, cook with wood-fired ovens, or apprentice with the masters in Italy. Though we may not be artisans in the traditional sense, inside this box you'll find a handmade pizza crafted with the kind of passion and integrity that just might convince you we are. Which is why every single Domino's Artisan Pizza we make comes signed by the person responsible for it. A signature that lets you know it's time to expect more from your local Domino's.
So are you or aren't you artisans, Domino's? Just when I was ready to defend the pizza chain, it pulls the parachute with this weird non-artisan disclaimer. (And can someone please explain the black beret reference? This is one occasional artisan product consumer who's totally lost.)
If you don't care to split hairs over definitions, at least you can be excited by the three varieties of the new pizza line: Spinach and Feta; Sausage and Peppers; and Salami and Roasted Veggies. Plus, rumor has it the pizza is cheap -- $8 each.
And if you prefer to skip Domino's altogether and get your artisan pizza from your local brick oven pizzeria, well, that's fine, too.
Image via GrubGrade.com