The term artisanal refers to anything that is hand-made or handcrafted in the style of an artisan, or skilled craftsman. Artisanal foods are made in small amounts and typically adhere to traditional methods and recipes, using high-quality and unprocessed ingredients. They are highly integrated into the slow
food movements, and are usually produced in a sustainable manner. Artisanal foods are also known to be healthier and taste better; producing them uses resources more efficiently than the production of conventional foods.
Artisanal foods provide a great way to know where your food is coming from. Artisanal sausages are most likely made from meat raised compassionately
; artisanal cheeses from cows milked by hand, not machine; artisanal jams and preserves from fruit grown on small farms without hormones or dangerous pesticides. And the providers of these products are often the artisans themselves. Artisanal foods are not necessarily healthy—cheese is still fatty and bread high in carbohydrates—but as part of your normal diet, they can replace questionable processed foods and link you to your local community producers.