Monday, May 7, 2012

Artisan Oatmeal Bucket

So...this is pretty much the best news ever. When we arrive at the dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse,  (Excuse me? Don't roll your eyes at me, little missy, this thing is going to happen!) we will no longer have to worry about eating pedestrian MREs and drinking our own filtered urine. No - we will all be able to feast for weeks on artisan oatmeal. There are 80 artisan portions in this bucket, sister. 80!!!

Now, because fun food facts are probably NOT going to be at the front of your mind when the zombies arrive, you should savor this little tidbit now. According to the artisans at the Food Supply Depot, "having hot cereal has long been a staple for mothers and surprisingly athletes." And while that is a remarkable, and remarkably poorly worded, fact - it is trivial compared to what they claim is the best part. "The best thing about our Artisan Oatmeal is its ability to please and satisfy both children and adults."

This is something I had never really valued in an artisan food before - its ability to please children. Helpfully, they offered me even more important artisan attributes:

  • 3-ply mylar pouches have the sealing power to keep freshness in and the pests out. (My note: I would not worry that they did not specifically name zombies. I am confident that mylar is zombie proof. And besides, it does not appear that any of the artisan oatmeal pouches are brain flavored.)
  • Oxygen extraction procedure that further protects nutrition and taste. (Mmmm-hm!)
  • Easy, re-sealable lids that allow opening and closing without unnecessarily exposing the other pouches to air. (Or your hysterical tears!)
  • Convenient handles and sensible weight for easy transportation. (Please, though - don't go anywhere with your artisan oatmeal. Stay at home. The zombies will surely get you faster on the streets.)
I know I should be more angry with these people for co-opting the artisan label, but frankly I just can't. They are our allies against the undead. Let's just let this one go.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Artisan Pancake Mix

Where to start, where to start...Have you ever made pancakes? Has your five year old? If your food is something a five year old can make, it is not artisan.

If you haven't made pancakes, let me tell you what is in them: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, milk and butter. Pancakes are the bread equivalent of mashed potatoes. A monkey can make them. And even a half-retarded monkey does not need to use a freaking mix.

The fact that a product like pancake mix even exists is proof that human civilization is on the decline. When cooking has become a just-add-water proposition, you should just go ahead and plug yourself into the matrix.

But, no. There is a whole aisle of the supermarket devoted to the needs of people who can't figure out how to measure out cups of flour and spoons of leavening and then, gasp, add fluids. So now, next to the Bisquick and Krusteaz (which may be the grossest food name ever, by the way) you can get the extra fancy carton of food-like powder. It's fancy because it has vanilla!

Artisan pancake mix. ...Mr. disappoint me.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Artisan Chocolate Grahams

Oh, how very appetizing these things look. No -- they are not feces covered credit cards, but you're close -- they are artisan chocolate covered graham crackers.

...I know! You have been dying for such a thing, but did not know any current-day artisans were making them! thought only tree-bound elf slaves could do that.

From the title of this product, Artisan Chocolate Grahams, you might be inclined to think that under the waxy-shitstain of cocoa product, there may lie a hand-crafted CHOCOLATE graham cracker. Alas, no. It is just a normal graham cracker. One that they appear not to have even made themselves.

From their website: "Graham crackers evoke wonderful childhood memories for us. Covered in our rich milk chocolate or robust dark chocolate, they become a very sophisticated grown-up treat. We use a crisp flavorful graham cracker and make certain that it has a thick coat of chocolate. Gift-boxed and ready to be enjoyed!"

Did you catch that? "We use a crisp, flavorful graham cracker." If I were an indentured cookie making elf, I would be making a formal declaration of war right about now. But I am not. I am just a blogger, so I'll have to settle for calling them names. Have I used douche canoe yet??

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Artisan Fresh Mashed Potatoes

If I was going to be fair, I would point out that Artisan Fresh is just the product line name for the crappy prepared foods at SAM's Club, not these specific potatoes. But screw fairness - the fact that they put both "artisan" and "fresh" on a whole cornucopia of foods which are neither means that I have to unload on these dillweeds.

But first, the targeted consumer. Just how lazy do you have to be to buy prepared mashed potatoes? Mashed potatoes are quite possibly the easiest cooked food to make in all of human history. You boil potatoes.. .and then you mash them. Come on, Wal-mart people, It's not rocket surgery!

I'm going to go out on a limb and say there is no food made with potatoes that could possibly be called artisan. Potatoes are an ingredient that immediately put you into the "any dumbass can make this" category of foodstuffs. Fries, chips, gnocchi, soup - I can make all of these things. Not artisan. And mashed potatoes? Lowest rung, my friends.

The SAM's Club folk seem inordinately proud that these mashed potatoes contain REAL milk and butter. Oh, and they guarantee these spuds, and all of their other Artisan Fresh products with the following, lifted directly from their website.

The Artisan Fresh Pledge: At Artisan Fresh, our love for "made-from-scratch" goodness guides all we do. We take pride in our products, and promise that only great-tasting, skillfully prepared foods will carry the Artisan Fresh name.

I would like to skillfully crush their copywriter's genitals with a  dirty potato masher.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Macaroni Grill Artisan Ricotta Meatball Sliders

I have been away a while. Naively, I imagined my rage had seeped into the consciousness of corporate America and this godforsaken trend had ended. Well, that and I got lazy as balls. But I am back. ...And this time with sandwiches.

The fine folks at the strip mall bistro, Macaroni Grill, have a new line of Artisan Sandwiches. Ayup. At a stone's throw from a Bed Bath and Beyond, this is a classic artisan fail.

In any case, the artisans at Macaroni Grill have painstakingly crafted three different sandwiches, and it was a toss up whether to talk about the roasted turkey sandwich or these: Artisan Ricotta Meatball Sliders. Since the only thing to rival my hatred for faux-artisan is pretty much any kind of slider, these won.

"But look at the adorable little butter rolls," you say. "And the Parmesan cheese that comes in shreds instead of  the powdered form. That must be artisan!" I know. It's confusing. ...Because it look just like the sliders your great grandmother ate in Naples. But for one thing: No self-respecting Italian ever ate such a retarded freaking little sandwich. I'm not even sure Italians eat meatballs. (Feel free to not send me a Wiki article on this.)

What, exactly is wrong with a full-sized meatball sandwich? Why do you need three little ones? Wouldn't a true artisan be able to properly portion a meatball sub? I mean, isn't that part of the years of training?

To borrow, and paraphrase, a line I stole from my dad,  you really only need two of these. One to shit on and one to cover it up with.

....aaaaand scene!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sweet Street Artisan Reeses Peanut Butter Cookies

If I could crap into a fluted, brown, waxed paper wrapper, I might duplicate the artisan skill with which these atrocities have been made.

The master chefs at Food Service Direct bring you Artisan Reeses Peanut Butter Cookies. Or did the skilled craftspeople at Reeses bring you these? It's all so confusing in the artisan world of poorly placed modifiers.

In any case, I love the web copy on these: "This Big and Chunky 5 inch cookie is loaded with creamy peanut butter and honey roasted peanuts. Wearing Reeses Peanut Butter chunks on top, it beckons your guests to buy the ultimate peanut butter experience. Reeses is the number one selling candy in the country."

It has it all: Random word capitalization, creepy anthropomorphic imagery ("wearing" chunks??) and the USDA recommended daily allowance of puffery bullshit. Also, too, if someone is your guest, why they hell are you making them BUY the cookie??

Finally, in the 30 plus ingredients - about half way in - we have, and I am not joking, "Non Fat Milk" followed directly by "Milk Fat".

...words fail me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Campbell's Artisan Cream Base

Wait, what? ...I forgot some words in there. It is actually Campbell's Artisan by Stockpot Cream Base. Because, you know, those extra words clear everything up.

Bleargh. While the website says it's a soup base, to me it looks more like some kind of construction material. Like a giant, paste-filled lego.

From the web copy: "The perfect start for your signature cream soups and chowders begins with this lightly seasoned creamy broth." If it's YOUR signature soup, why are you starting with a cream lego from Campbell's? And why is the first ingredient in this "artisan soup base" water? It's soup - I can and will add my own damn water.

To their credit, there is actually cream in there. Right before "modified milk ingredients". ...And about 12 ingredients in front of "Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate".

Oh, and in case you are not as good an artisan as the fine folks at Campbell's, they actually have a recipe suggestion for your soon-to-be signature soup. I don't normally paste in a second photo, but in this case, I feel I must. Because the recipe actua
lly says it "tastes as good as it looks!"

Ahem. I bring you "Green Pea Pancetta Soup."

But wait! There's more! Ingredients in said soup? A cream lego, water, pancetta, onion and frozen peas.

You may vomit now.