Quite the buzz word these days, folks throw "artisanal" around to mean a lot of different things. At the cheese shop, we use it to distinguish "cheese that's been touched by hands." In other words, "artisanal cheese" requires a bit of science and a good deal of artistry as the cheesemaker tries to adapt cheese making procedures to fit the particular batch of milk instead of making the milk always fit the particular procedures of the making. (This is not to say that industrial is bad; indeed, they're not necessarily opposites.) Just know that when we say we focus on sourcing "artisanal cheese," we're looking for cheeses that have taken a good deal of human labor to create and that can be traced to cheesemakers and the milk source.