ARTESIAN BREAD? AH, WELL …

While tooling down the Interstate the other day, I listened to a succession of local radio stations, and almost swerved off the road when I heard one small-town announcer deliver a carefully scripted commercial for the national Quizno’s sandwich chain.

He talked about the many delicious sandwich choices available at the local Quizno’s, adding that they were all carefully prepared on Artesian bread. His reading underscored the danger of using big, fancy words in copy — words that everyone may not understand.

Quizno’s copywriter had written “Artisan bread,” using a trendy word that once had real import, but has since been corrupted to mean “anything out of the ordinary.” Sprinkle some caraway seeds into your dough and brush on a little emulsifier before sticking in the oven, and you’ve turned an ordinary loaf into something artisanal.

But something artesian? That word refers to a type of water well in which the pressure is so strong that water comes to the surface with no need for a pump. I’m not sure what a couple of slices of artesian bread would be like, but if you order some, I’d suggest asking for extra napkins.

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