It’s artisanal??? OK, I’ll take it !

Holy fucking shit. This word “artisanal” is driving me crazy. It seems that all you need to do to become some magical fucking hipster foodie piece of shit is throw the word artisanal in front of whatever you are making. This Brooklyn Paper article about an ARTISANAL TAFFY MAKER is a fucking joke.

Riding high on Brooklyn’s love for all things small-batch, DIY, and retro, the self-taught confectioner is currently drawing raves for her hand-pulled, artisanal saltwater taffy — with a wholesale client list that includes Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus and the Bedford Cheese Shop in Williamsburg.

“Honestly, I was never really into salt water taffy before, because it seemed very artificial, generic and touristy,” admitted Wu. “But the stuff I’ve been making is really awesome, with an ice creamy sort of taste to it. Not at all what I remember salt water taffy being like.”

Yeah honestly Ms. Wu, you and your taffy are “very artificial, generic and touristy” admitted me.

What makes this or any shit “artisanal”????? Does the Mona Lisa have to glance at it before it’s put on a shelf for sale??? Tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is it?

Here’s the new definition of “artisanal”: Something unoriginal that’s been in existence for many many years, made by a failed creative type and marked-up 2 – 3 times its’ actual price.

I can’t wait to get my hands on some “Bergamot” (orange) salt water taffy.

LinkBrooklyn Paper: Chew On this, Artisanal Salt Water Taffy.

63 thoughts on “It’s artisanal??? OK, I’ll take it !

  1. When I go to a website noted on a product, and the url flips to a wordpress blog, and the “website” actually tells me nothing about the product… I kind of want to find their “artisinal” shop and set it on fire.

    • Oh and she’s developing new flavors like Sour Cherry and Vietnamese Coffee….Not “coffee” mind you but “VIETNAMESE”.

      The difference must be astounding aftermixing the coffee extract with other hot ingredients, pacaking the shit and having it sit on a shelf for weeks.

  2. How can this try hard pull anything by hand?

    This is strange there was a TV show on Sunday night about local candymakers and they highlighted a few long timesaltwater taffy makers at the jersey shore. I thought to myself, “it won’t be long…..”.

    The machines that pull the taffy do so to incorporate air into the product so it doesn’t cool into a hard mass. The original stuff was pulled by big burly men over and over again.

    What she’s doing(aside from re-naming “orange”to “bergamot” is the equivalent of using a hammer VS a nail gun.

    It’s fucking sugar, corn syrup (AHHHHHH) water, some kind of fat and flavoring for the most part. What this canklesaurus did was look up a generic recipe on the net and add hipster packaging.

    Does she pull the taffy while riding a unicycle too?

    Also – here feeling is that taffy is generic and touristy? IT’S FUCKING TAFFY!

    • “Does she pull the taffy while riding a unicycle too?”

      Actually, I believe she stretches it across the spokes of her Penny Farthing, and rides in circles through McCarren until it is ready. Locally crafted obviously

  3. “Yeah honestly Ms. Wu, you and your taffy are ‘artificial, generic and touristy’ admitted me.”

    Also the best definition of artisinal that I’ve seen so far!

    From the article:
    “Riding high on Brooklyn’s love for all things small-batch, DIY, and retro”

    Maybe I’m missing something not being from the area, but isn’t it the transplants’ love for all things small-batched, DIY, retro (hideously packaged, rediculously overpriced, poor quality, etc…), not Brooklyn’s???

    • DIY? these monkeys can’t even screw replace an outlet or oil a squeaky hinge!

    • Look – if her business takes off, she’s in for a rude awakening. If she thinks she thinks people are going to line up for a taffy pulling apprentice and hand wrap candy..well…

      Then we’ll see the true hipster douchebag shine through. When the machines start doing the work because they can’t keep up with demand.

      And when Wegman’s comes in and tells them, like the hosts on every single pawn and auction reality show:” Sure YOU get 12.00 a bag for the taffy. But I have to make a profit, dedicate space for the stuff and pay someone to stock the shelves. 2.50 a bag”.

      Butthurt time!

      • you’ve totally run a business before, haven’t you? I can tell.

        • Yes. I grew up in the food biz. My dad’s been in it since ’62. Recently sold out and retired about 6 years ago.

          I got into Engineering.

        • The most common problems are:


          Not knowing your market

          lack of experience


          not making your salary an expense (or hey after I pay all my bills THAT will be my salary!)

          Not spending every waking minute in your business when starting out

          Having common sense replaced with your friends’ comments “Like you should soooo go into business. This is soooooo good!!”

          • cool! I run a business too; I agree with the above, as we’ve also dealt with a lot of the problems you bring up. I find it so discouraging when entrepreneurs — well, people in general, really — feel the need to pile hate on someone who’s doing something they don’t want to buy instead of just not buying it. everyone would be a lot better served by collaborating and giving honest advice (when asked) instead of just throwing the word “douchebag” around based on a 250-word blurb – no?

  4. I love this woman’s blog:

    The word is becoming an overused marketing term by copy writers everywhere.
    Take out ‘artis’ and it’s a bit more accurate. Did you all check out the
    artisanal acrobats on the Williamsburg Bridge? What, did I use the word

    • “Artisanal” is almost as overused as “upcycled”. After seeing some of the upcycled shit at local crap, er, craft fairs, I agree with the definition offered by April Winchell at Regretsy: “Upcycling is where you take garbage and make something useless out of it.”

      • I can’t remember if it was a Triscuits box or a Wheat Thins box I saw using the word “artisanal”. I wonder if these hipsters know they’re just being strung along on one great big marketing scheme…haha…they’re loss!

      • Last night I watched a snippet of a show called “Unique Sweets”. They were featuring a Candy shop that’s been a fixture for some time in the candy world.

        The owners were not hipsters. The stuff looked high quality.

        The hipster part came in the way of commentary by try hard g-list foodie personalities.

        So they mad ethis thing – a brownie with a chocolate frosting (secret family recipe, of course!) then dipped into milk chocolate, then dark, then nuts..etc. Essentially rinse wash and repeat.

        After listening to these imbeciles carry on you;d think this woman invented a cure for cancer.

    • “Artisanal” is the new “gourmet”.

      In the 80′s and early 90′s anyone could charge a premium simply by splashing “gourmet”
      on their label.

      Now I walk the isles of Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Wal-mart and Target and see “gourmet” products for 99 cents.

      • exactly. it’s like every few years a new catchphrase in marketing catches on and everyone falls for it. and overpays for it. and overcharges for the repackaged crap. gotta give some of thes people credit tho, they are really REALLY good at ripping off their peers. uh, i mean peers’ parents.


  5. Salt watter Taffy is what I had in Coney Island as a Kid over 40 years ago. Guess what? Just like my MOM Over 70 years ago. Just like my Grandmother over 100 years ago. THIS IS NOT NEW YOU Hipster FU(KS!!!! Reason # 107 why I hate hipsters. There arrogant that they take the wheel and think they can make it better when the WHEEL IS NOT BROKEN. What is their thought process? no no no no no no You people from Brooklyn who had lived here for generations are doing it all wrong, thank god us Hipsters are here to straighten you all out.

    • Oh the arrogance: “Let me clue in these sheep – the great unwashed because hey – I know better because I have a degree in communications from Tallahasee Junio College”.

    • Even the packaging is very similar to what you could get on the boardwalks at Coney Is or Atlantic City.

      I love how these social rejects who came from some suburban one horse town that featured a Dairy Queen as their premier eatery and exotic ethnic cuisine like Pizza Hut, move here and are now experts who create all this artisanal nonsense.

      Please, just move the fuck back home and “invent” and peddle this shit in Wiscopennsyltucky!

      • YOu presume too much about their culinary expertise. Having heard similar hipster tourguide yammerings as what you guys deal with every day, I’m surprised you haven’t heard their families’ responses. “Look, Maw-Maw! They got buildings two stories high out here! I bets they got indoor shitters, too!” (I grew up in a dangerously inbred town where, and I’m not kidding, the opening of a Taco Bell went on the front page of the local paper because nobody was sure if something that exotic would ever make it.)

        • I seem to remember, in the mid 90s, some PBS station in Kentucky showing an old ABBA concert. The locals thought it was some new kind of culture the World hadn’t seen before.

          Guess they got both kinds of music down there – Country AND Western.

          • Then these prodigies move here and know more about other people’s histories, cultures and foods then the people who came from those countries.

            Yep, the sure sign of an inferiority complex. That what makes it so easy to prod these losers into a butthurt, passive-aggressive rage.

        • Remnds of a scene in “What’sEating Gilbert Grape” when THE burger place comes to town – and it turns out to be a Fotomat sized deal. They’re transporting the thing on the back of a truck and everyone’s following it in an impromtu parade.

  6. Could we order seven pallets please ?

  7. “Honestly, I was never really into salt water taffy before, because it seemed very artificial, generic and touristy,” admitted Wu. “But the stuff I’ve been making is really awesome, with an ice creamy sort of taste to it. Not at all what I remember salt water taffy being like.”

    Translation: “Yeah, like, TONS of other people have, like, done this before me, but it wasn’t AWESOME until I started doing it…like, yeah!!”

    What a smug, arrogant waste of space. I knew it wouldn’t be long until they got their hands on salt water taffy. It was always one of my favorite candies (especially in the summer), but I’ll be damned if they’re going to ruin it for me.

  8. Glad you were able to use it. Yeah, the “artisinal” thing was what caught my eye when I read it. I mean, give me a freaking break already.

    Artisinal salad? Artisinal taffy? WTF?

    Lauren Glassberg did a pretentious piece on Eyewitless News last week about some woman who does (presumably artisinal) eyebrow waxing. At the end of the report my wife almost fell off the chair when she said the price was $128!!!

    She offered to take them to a couple of dozen places here in Bay Ridge where you can get the same service – just as good if not better – for a tenth the price.

    When will the madness end?

  9. “Bergamot”

    I thought I read it as “Bergament” for a second.

  10. My wife has a blog y’all should read. She rips into the overuse of “Artisan” in marketing these days. She is a cheesemaker but we live on a farm in rural Texas, not on a rooftop in Brooklyn so I think we’re kosher.

    • Ugh, I read that blog for 5 minutes and then puked all over my computer.

    • I actually referred to your blog further up…I happened to run across it the other day and had a good laugh!

      I think some things can be referred to as artisanal, but its overuse totally cheapened the word. And there can never be enough cheesemakers, or even ici cream makers for me, as long as it tastes good. I went to a ‘crafted’ ice cream place that just opened up near my job in Midtown Manhattan, and yes it’s overpriced and run by hipster types, but the ice cream was real good. Of course it’s blazing hot out, and I don’t think I could go there on a daily basis, but I’m not going to hate on it. Artisanal taffy is ridiculous not matter how you look at it.

    • LMFAO. i dont know. that looks SO shilley….


    • Christian, welcome to the party. Your wife is right on the money with this, particularly with the “artisanal” honey.

  11. Aww man! Another one of my posts got deleted over on Gothamist! Here’s the article:

    I said something like: “Author, you know where there are even fewer Lawng Islanders and Bon Jovi fans to offend your sensibilities? Back the frick home in the Midwest.”

    I didn’t think that was so bad. They’re so delicate over there.

    • Hmm, I’m a little suspect of their maths there. They serve “100,000 cups of beer in an afternoon” and see “about 2,000 people in its tented confines every week” (and they’re only open on Sunday afternoons). That would be 50 cups of beer per person on average. No way.

      • Yeah first of all it’s 128 16 ounce keg cups per keg (not 148 or whatever they said), so it would be 76,800 cups for each 600 kegs. Still impossible. That’s 19,200 cups poured per hour, or 320 per minuted. Feasible if they had 200 or 300 of the kegs tapped and pouring at the same time maybe. But that’s still almost 38 and a half cups per person for the 2,000 people they claim to serve.
        Pretty grassy if you ask me.

    • oh they really a bunch of delicate flowers over there… post snide remarks about the area of the country you just moved to last week and then delete comments when people call you out on it.


  12. Wu plans to start selling her wares at Smorgasburg, and is hard at work developing new flavors, like sour cherry and Vietnamese coffee — but is not looking to put much else on her plate right now.

    I am guessing that an actual job hasn’t been nor will it be among the items on ‘the plate’ at the moment.

  13. Louisville Sluggers…yeah, that’s the ticket…

  14. im SHOCKED it’s not marketed at artisinal refiltered gowanus water taffee!!!! SHOCKED! someone really needs to market some artisinal koolaid and sell THAT at smorgasBORED. it could even be ironic with a little cyanide lacing.. Jonestown the 2.0!

    please note to do not condone murder or such a thing (why i felt the need to put in that disclaimer is beyond me, but i felt i had to). maybe replace th cyanide with roofies.


  15. Taffy?

    Oh, they’re pulling something, alright.

    (And they’ve been pulling it for a long time …)

  16. but of COURSE, why didnt everyone else think of it? there’s an article in the WSJ today (i get it delivered at work) about ARTISINAL JELLO! there’s even classes on HOW TO MAKE JELLO! and of course there’s a cappuccino-infused jello..


    • But is it vegan Jell-O? That’s what the serious hipsters are asking. (When I was trapped in Portland, my ex was invited to a party that could have been a casting call for “Portlandia”. One of the guests brought a whole tray of Jell-O shots, making a big deal about how these were completely vegan. When I told her exactly where gelatin, as opposed to careenagen and agar-agar, came from, she almost puked blood. And then she blamed ME for her stupidity.)

  17. Wow, you all really need to get something better to do, because you kind of suck at life.

    And, btw, bergamot is not the same as orange. Not that I’m surprised y’all don’t know that.

    Go outside.

  18. have you poo heads tried this taffy (or any of her other amazing candies)? because its super delicious. stop being a hater and go do something productive.

  19. Wow! So I want to start by saying this anti-hipster site, which I was unaware of until yesterday, IS hipster in it’s “too cool for school” hating on every fucking thing. Get over yourself and contribute something to the world besides your negativity

    Second. Since all you do is sit at your computer I would have thought maybe you would have taken the time to actually look up what a bergamot orange is, if you had you would know that it has an entirely different flavor and smell than an orange like a navel orange or valencia. I am imagining you are one of the folks that eats wonder bread and Smuckers jam and doesn’t really give a shit about the industrialization and homogenization of our food supply, hey an orange is an orange a strawberry is a strawberry right??
    Please check this out… if National Geographic isn’t too hipster for you.

    Not that that has anything to do with you hating on this girl making taffy. I just thought your comment about her trying to make up a fancy name for orange by calling it bergamot was ignorant.

    Lastly. REALLY? you are making fun of someone for making something by hand with quality ingredients? I am pretty sure (directed at Mr. Brooklyn up there) that she is not claiming to have invented or improved taffy and no where on her packaging does it claim to be artisanal. This is just a girl making something she likes, her version of it, and trying to make it her livelihood.
    Can’t you see any of this movement to make things from scratch and not by machine in a factory as a hats off to tradition and craftsmanship? So much of our culture is being lost in this machine age.
    People who are making things aren’t trying to be “cool” they genuinely want to MAKE something. Not everyone was designed to sit at a desk all day.

    GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!! and like notasangryasyou said… GO OUTSIDE.

    There is nothing more hipster than being a snob.
    Y’all are just mad cause you can’t make anything but whiney noises.

    • The God of Hipsters has Spoken…… HERRO STEVIE!!!!

      • That boy is seriously demented. I like how he’s quoting his own sock puppets as if they had independent thoughts and opinions. Time for your meds, Stevie!

  20. oh jayzus. yes, she’s totally a waste of space for striking out on her own and making stuff by hand while she saves up to buy the machinery.

    so much more useless, than, say, this whole hilarious shart of a blog.

    • “so much more useless, than, say, this whole hilarious shart of a blog.”

      Then why are you here reading this blog all the time and commenting?

      • just this one post, buddy! but thanks for asking. It’s because I’m acquainted with the lady in question, and thought I’d just toss my two cents into the troll pit.

  21. Well as a carpenter i can tell you that there IS a distinct difference between a nail gun and a hammer that drives a nail. It may not look different to you, but the process of using a nail gun, especially amongst carpenters who have never used a hammer, typically results in 300 excess nails where they do NOT need to be as opposed the a few where they really count. When they are used by a bunch of hack shitheads for finish work you end up with 5 million machine gunned nail holes as opposed to a nice grid of thoughtfully placed and set nails heads.Its not so much that a nail gun can not drive a nail, but that when the labor associated with the hammer is lost, so it the thought and knowledge of where and why to drive a nail. Does that make any sense to you? Or can you simply not imagine why some one would make a personal choice to do something the hard and manual way? Why is it a crime to rework something that has already been done a million times? DO you get pissed off every time some one exceeds or embellishes a standard? It sounds like you don’t really know what the recipe for taffy is or what her recipe is. it sounds like you don’t know how to do much but bitch and moan and be a worthless piece of internet trash.

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