A boutique is a rather small shop that is specialized in high-end and fashion items such as clothing and jewellery. It comes from French and it means simply “shop.” Nowadays the term is a bit abused. Look around or surf the web and you will quickly find boutique hotels, boutique pastry shops, and even boutique pubs, offering or serving items that you cannot easily find nearby. They are one-of-a-kind establishments selling you something that will “touch” all your five (or six?) senses and leave a lasting impression.
By definition Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labour to produce goods for use or sale. In early days it was usually “one-man-band,” an artisan making the products for local market. Later artisans formed guilds, trade-groups that were specialized in their craft, allowing artisans to improve their products, keep the secrets for themselves, and above all increase their sales. Did you know that from “students’ guild” the University of Oxford emerged?
Let’s coin a term “boutique manufacture.” I did some search in Google and found only 1.340 hits. It appears not to be a very widely used term. Could it be that term “boutique” is associated only with sales or service sector, meaning it suits high-end, haute-couture, one-time-use gala dress shops or niche, seven-star, all-you-can-dream-of exquisite hotels? What about handicrafts? Nobody wants to work anymore? Or maybe the tradition of creating something with your hands that was passed from generation to generation does not need such a high-flying name? Perhaps modern artisans have tried this term before and found out that old name evokes feeling of tradition and too modern sounding one is almost for sure a fake? Who knows…?
Does fashion belong to kitchen?
Did you ever wonder why bakers are always dressed in white clothes? It’s obvious isn’t it? Flour does not stand out from light coloured clothes. Usually all the food stains are least visible on dark clothes. This makes me think a little bit. Should I now have at least two aprons, depending on what I’m doing in the kitchen, a white/light coloured one for baking and a black/dark coloured one for all other tasks? This is only apron. What about other clothes? I like dressing up in matching colours. It brings a sort of harmony to my soul. Should I dress up for cooking as well? Eventually every cook has to come out of kitchen and you don’t want to be a laughing-stock for your guests, do you?
Since I come from more technical field, and cooking is only my favourite pastime activity, I almost feel an urge to start the paragraph in more work-related terms. All preconditions have been well described. User is familiar with terms boutique and manufacture. Cognitive dissonance has been achieved by coining a term using two latter ones and further enhanced introducing fashion to kitchen idea.
As mentioned in my previous blogs, pasta is by far my favourite food. Making pasta at home can be considered a big waste of time. Any dry pasta cooks in less than 10 minutes, most of them are ready in 5 to 6 minutes. So why should one make it at home and spend hours making the dough, forming the pasta, drying it, finding suitable storage containers or packaging it. There are so many arguments in favour. For me number one is taste. There is no pasta on the market that comes close to the taste of homemade one. Second one is freshness. Yes, you can buy fresh pasta in the local market, but it’s not fresh. It can be few days old. Did you ever try fresh homemade ice-cream? If you did, you will never buy a supermarket one again. Freedom of expression is the third argument. You can make all the shapes you want. Be creative and let it all out. You could find a pasta sculptor inside you. 🙂