Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Another Name Change

My long-term readers may recall that this blog was originally called "Food Through Time".  I came up with that name on the spur of the moment the day that I decided to go public with the blog, and I stuck with it for quite a while, even though I didn't like the name much.

Eventually, I came up with the idea of naming the blog "Table Scraps," by analogy to the name of my historical costume blog, "Loose Threads:  Yet Another Costuming Blog".  I was pretty happy with that name until I learned from a friend that there is at least one other blog about food called "Table Scraps"--and that blog is much more popular than mine. It is written by Lynn Kessel, who writes a weekly food column for the Tampa Tribune in Florida.  If you're reading this, Lynn, I apologize--I never wanted to steal your thunder, or your readers.  As a quick look at both of our blogs will show, the nature of my interest in blogging about food is quite different from yours.

So I clearly need to change the name of this blog, again.  But to what?  "Food Through Time" remains available, but I still dislike it for the reasons I disliked it originally--it's way too bland to attract eyeballs.  

I thought of "Bonne Bouche", which carries connotations and denotations of a small food treat,  but there are two other food-related blogs with nearly that same title--Bon Bouche, a blog about cheese, and "La Bonne Bouche",  which is more of a recipe-oriented blog than this one will ever be.

Then I thought of smörgåsbord, a Scandinavian buffet consisting mostly of cold foods that diners can take small portions from and combine them into a meal. Despite my continuing interest in food (and other elements of material culture) from Viking Age Scandinavia, I didn't want to use that word either, partly because it's specifically Scandinavian and the topics I write about are geographically broader than that, and partly because all of the blogs I've found that used the word as a title have no connection with food. They use the word in its broader sense--a variety of diverse items to choose from.

However, I learned something interesting from the Wikipedia entry on the term smörgåsbord.   It turns out that smörgåsbord  is a Swedish word.  Norwegian and Danish use different expressions that translate as "the cold table" or "the cold board" (referring to the fact that smörgåsbords tend to feature foods that are not cooked and don't require cooking).

That tidbit gave me the idea for a new title for this blog: "The Cold Table". "The Cold Table" invokes the concept of a choice from many small items, and being a synonym for smörgåsbord it preserves a connection to food. Best of all, because it refers to a "cold" table it explicitly indicates that this is not primarily a blog about the heat of the kitchen but about the cooler activities of analyzing food and food-related technologies in their cultural and historical contexts.

Besides, who other than me would be strange enough to use such a phrase as a blog title?

So tonight, I am changing the title of my blog, "Table Scraps," to "The Cold Table."  Even if the change doesn't increase my readership, I think it is a much more interesting name than "Food Through Time," and that pleases me.

EDIT:  (6/25/2015) Improved and clarified the original language of this post just a little.


  1. Okay, let's try this again. First time when I clicked Publish it blanked this field.

    One thing about "Food Through Time" is that under that title you could also talk about food preservation. :-)

  2. And you still can! Cold foods still need preservation--just different kinds of preservation (pickling and corning come to mind). ;-)

  3. cold smoking? Air drying? (Thinking of all those racks of fish along the road up the west coast of Newfoundland...) Of course my bookmarks list seems to remember everyone's site name as it was when I first bookmarked it,so you'll exist as Food Through Time there, through time!
    vandy/dagda's cauldron

    1. Hi, Vandy! Thanks for stopping by.

      There are lots of methods of preserving food that don't involve cooking; I gave two, and you came up with others. Thanks for continuing to read this blog, no matter what I call it!