Golly! I never realized that such a mild (and frankly, nerdy
) hobby as food blogging could be so edgy. So disquieting. So dangerous
So... get this: I just got hate mail from Ed Valenti
, who is apparently one of the marketing gurus who launched Ginsu Knives into the public eye back in the late '70s.Here's the story
, according to your friend and mine, the Internet:
The knife that is now sold under the "Ginsu" name was once a blade called "Quikut" — a mild-mannered utensil manufactured in Ohio to little fanfare. In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife... but it can't cut a tomato!
Thanks to some fast-talking ad copy, a fabricated name and the services of a Japanese foreign exchange student who appeared in the ads, a classic commercial
was launched out into TV-land. The campaign was a cheesy wonder and the U.S. post was inundated with "limited-time offer" shipments of razor-sharp Ginsu knives traveling to homes across America. NOW how much would you pay?
Of course, as a pop-culture reference, the word "Ginsu" was also a source of good laughs. Jerry Seinfeld, Weird Al Yankovic, Notorious B.I.G. and Nas have all made sharp-sharp Ginsu knife references in their works.
That's probably why one of my fellow cooks called me "Miss Ginsu" while observing my killa fresh-outta-cooking-school knife skills. Soon thereafter I started food blogging, and I used "Miss Ginsu" as my pen-name rather than the far-less-catchy real name
that my parents gave me.But that's not all!
Fast-forward to today, when I receive this fan letter in my Gmail inbox:
Please be advised that Ginsu is a registered trademark of the Berkshire Hathaway Company. You indicate a copyright after your name. Please provisde me with any copyrights you have obtained or a letter of permission to use the mark from BH....
1775 Bald Hill Rd
401 826 3600
I posted my very first food blog entry
waaay back in May, 2004, and like most people who cook, eat and feel some strange need to share all that the internet, I've been blogging in obscurity ever since.
Do I make money from this site? Nope. Food blogging has been a four-year drain on my free time and my personal finances. Why do I do it? I love food. I love connecting with other people about food. I love all the things I discover about food as I travel and cook. And I love sharing that stuff.
So why does marketing guru and accomplished public speaker Ed Valenti care about harassing an obscure food blog?
Well, it all comes back to dollars. He doesn't own the word "Ginsu," nor my nickname, "Miss Ginsu," (I guess Berkshire Hathaway owns all that) but since Ed Valenti makes his money in lecture halls and marketing books
about "Ginsu" concepts, it seems that he has his own business interests to protect. ...But this is a limited time offer, so call now!So here's where you come in, dear reader.
I'll probably have to change my name and my website pretty soon. I find it sad that crushing little food bloggers with legal power is sorta the way this country does business.
I used to blog as Miss Ginsu, and my blog was titled, "The Hedonista," but that got pretty confusing. People asked me, are you "The Hedonista" or Miss Ginsu? Understandable confusion.
These days, this site is about excitement and discovery and the way food discussion is relevant in nearly every aspect of our lives. I don't know if "The Hedonista" really encompasses that food exploration
Anyone out there on the inter-webs have a good suggestion for a name replacement? I'll offer a T-shirt to the kind soul who comes up with a winner. Help a girl out and post in the comments. Thanks, y'all!
Labels: blogging, Chez Ginsu, knives