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Domino's pizza struggles with the troublesome 'A-word'

September 28, 2011 | 11:26 am

Dominos It's hard to say which is sadder: Domino's rolling out a new line of "artisan" pizzas, or the way they are simultaneously running from the real meaning of the word.

Probably the latter. Let's face it, the term "artisan" now has about as much value as "natural." It once referred to products that are made with some care in small quantities by skilled craftsmen, but today it is attached to par-baked supermarket breads.

And, gasp, Domino's pizza -- it's "artisan," the company says, because it's made with feta cheese rather than mozzarella and provolone, and because its toppings include something called "Tuscan" salami (is "Tuscan" the next "artisan"?).

But at the same time, Domino's rushes to reassure its core customers that it doesn't really mean "artisan" as in, you know, "well-made." The pizza boxes state in large letters: "We're Not Artisans." The printed message goes on to say, "We don't wear black berets, cook with wood-fired ovens or apprentice with the masters in Italy."

That, apparently, would be "persnickety" and "snobby," a spokesman told the Times' Tiffany Hsu. Nothing like wanting to have your pie and eat it too.

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--Russ Parsons

Photo: Domino's "artisan pizzas" by Jeff Padrick/PR Newswire

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