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Estudios sociales (Hermosillo, Son.)

Print version ISSN 0188-4557


DOMINGUEZ-LOPEZ, Aurelio; VILLANUEVA-CARVAJAL, Adriana; ARRIAGA-JORDAN, Carlos Manuel  and  ESPINOZA-ORTEGA, Angélica. Artisan-made and traditional foods: The Oaxaca fresh cheese as study case in central Mexico. Estud. soc [online]. 2011, vol.19, n.38, pp.165-193. ISSN 0188-4557.

Artisan food products have been widely analyzed according to their characteristics and potentials. Nevertheless, a unified definition of what constitutes an artisan made product has not been agreed yet. Looking into the available definitions of artisan made, some of them make reference to handcrafted food products although those definitions do not mention that there are regulations, with specific parameters, that a food product must met. The increase in the demand of artisan made food products, their cultural, health, flavour and texture values, joined to the potential of becoming a feasible rural developing strategy has attracted our attention to investigate whether artisan made food products could survive in a regularized world full of specifications that must be met. The case of study of Oaxaca cheese produced in the center of Mexico gives an example of the inability of artisans to fulfill the current legal requirements designed mainly for industrialized food products. A new terminology is proposed to refer to foodstuff elaborated with traditional methods using traditional knowledge, so that artisans could continue keeping their way of life. A new regulation system for these types of products is also considered, pointing out that the consumer should be informed about the product's natural variability due to the its "artisanality" character.

Keywords : artisan made products; traditional foods; standardization; Oaxaca fresh cheese; Mexico.

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