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The Sporkful

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We obsess about food to learn more about people. The Sporkful isn't for foodies, it's for eaters. Hosted by Dan Pashman of Cooking Channel's You're Eating It Wrong and the book Eat More Better. A Stitcher Production.

We obsess about food to learn more about people. The Sporkful isn't for foodies, it's for eaters. Hosted by Dan Pashman of Cooking Channel's You're Eating It Wrong and the book Eat More Better. A Stitcher Production.


New York, NY


We obsess about food to learn more about people. The Sporkful isn't for foodies, it's for eaters. Hosted by Dan Pashman of Cooking Channel's You're Eating It Wrong and the book Eat More Better. A Stitcher Production.








Pati Jinich Can Read Your Fridge Like A Tarot Card

Pati Jinich has always had to move between worlds — as a Jew growing up in Mexico, and as a Mexican immigrant to the US, where she first worked as a policy analyst. “It wasn’t until I switched to cooking,” she tells us this week, “that I was finally able to make sense of all the pieces of myself.” Since that transition she’s spent a decade documenting Mexico’s vast and varied food cultures in her cookbooks, and on her PBS show Pati’s Mexican Table, which is watched by more than 65 million...


Hunting For The Elusive Pawpaw

A few months back, we got an email that set us off on an adventure. It came from Sara Bir, an author and recipe developer who’s obsessed with pawpaws, the largest fruit native to North America. “Pawpaws are tricky in the kitchen,” Sara wrote. “You can't buy them in stores. Occasionally they cause people to vomit. But pawpaws are truly beguiling, reminiscent of tropical fruit like mangoes and bananas.” With the help of her connections in the pawpaw dark web, Sara had identified one of the few...


Stanley Tucci Always Has A Martini Kit On Set

Stanley Tucci nearly broke the internet last year when he made a Negroni on Instagram. But long before that, the award-winning actor built his career around his love of food. He created the iconic food film Big Night, he’s written best-selling cookbooks, and he eats his way through Italy in a new CNN series. Now he’s released a memoir, Taste: My Life Through Food, which includes the revelation that a few years ago he battled oral cancer, which changed his relationship with food forever. He...


Hot Chicken Is Hot, But Who's Benefiting?

In the last 15 years, Nashville hot chicken has become a hot trend. But for decades before that, hot chicken was well known among Nashville’s Black community. For generations, you could only get it at the place where it was invented: Prince’s Hot Chicken. Now with attention from the likes of Beyoncé and Guy Fieri, Prince’s has gone from being a neighborhood institution to a Nashville landmark — and many imitators have come along. Dan travels to Nashville and speaks with André Prince...


For “Top Chef’s” Joe Flamm, Spaghetti Is The Beatles Of Pasta

Chef Joe Flamm grew up in a big Italian family, where there was always sauce bubbling on the stove. The rule of the house was: if you walked in the kitchen, you stirred the sauce. Since then Joe has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, won Season 15 of Top Chef, and now opened his first restaurant in Chicago, Rose Mary. It’s named after his two grandmothers and inspired by his Italian heritage. Like Dan, Joe has strong opinions about pasta, but he takes sauce just as seriously. Joe tells...


Padma Lakshmi Just Wants To Eat Her Samosa In Peace

Since we first had Padma Lakshmi on The Sporkful in 2016, a lot has changed — in the world, and for her. She’s become a vocal activist, speaking out on immigration and women’s rights, and sharing more of her own personal experience in the process. She created and hosts a food travel show, Taste the Nation, that looks at the immigrant experience through the lens of food. She’s also just published her first children’s book, Tomatoes for Neela, all while continuing to host Top Chef. This week...


Who Invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?

For two decades, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has been one of the most popular snacks in America. In recent years its legend has grown, as word spread that they were invented by Richard Montañez, a Mexican-American janitor at Frito-Lay who went on to become a company executive. The story made Montañez something of a Latino icon, with two memoirs and a soon-to-be-released biopic based on his life. But when a journalist at the L.A. Times started looking into this feel-good story, he found a very...


Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski On Emotional Eating And Impostor Syndrome

Antoni Porowski wasn’t the obvious choice to be the food expert on Queer Eye — he’s not a chef and he has no formal culinary training. When the show debuted in 2018, many people asked, “Can this guy actually cook?” Not the most reassuring reaction for a person who already struggled with impostor syndrome. In the years since, he’s alternated between trying to prove his haters wrong, and trying to stop worrying about what others think. On the eve of his second cookbook coming out, where is he...


Being Thin Isn't A Virtue, Says Lindy West

Lindy West is a leading voice of the fat acceptance movement, a position that's earned her a lot of devoted fans — and a lot of enemies. Dan sits down with Lindy, author of the best seller Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, at a New York City diner, where they get into the issues that fat people face when eating in public. Lindy explains why she still feels the need to buy carrots at the grocery store when she’s picking up a cake, and discusses the assumptions strangers make when they see her...


The Rice Cooker That Changed Jake Cohen’s Life

Jake Cohen didn’t care much about Jewish food when he went to culinary school and worked in high end restaurants. But when he met his future husband, Jake was introduced to the Middle Eastern Jewish recipes of his in-laws, like tahdig and kubbeh. Soon, he was mining his own family’s Eastern European Jewish recipes, and putting his spin on matzo ball soup and kasha varnishkes. Earlier this year Jake published his first cookbook, Jew-ish: Reinvented Recipes From A Modern Mensch, and he’s...


The Bucatini Dialogues: A Debate About Pasta Shapes

“Literally all pasta shapes are wonderful except bucatini. Bucatini can go get effed.” Francis Lam’s strongly-worded tweet inspired Dan to organize a live event in 2018, where he, Francis (host of The Splendid Table), and Evan Kleiman (host of Good Food) could debate the merits of various pasta shapes. It was called “The Bucatini Dialogues” — and yes, it was the night when Dan first announced his intention to invent a new pasta shape. But now, for the first time, we’re airing the rest of...


The Mystery Of Alpha Gal

For the first 40 years of her life, Amy Pearl was a card-carrying member of the meat club; she literally had a credit card from the famous Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger. Then one day she ate a porterhouse steak, and nearly died. This week we join forces with our friends at Radiolab to tell the story of how Amy's mysterious allergy was identified by scientists. Plus, she tells us how the allergy has changed her relationship to food — and we find out if it’ll ever go away. // Get 500+ more...


Why Actors Never Actually Eat In Movies

Does Ratatouille accurately portray restaurant critics? What’s the lamest food trope in cinema? And what’s Dan’s favorite eating scene from The Godfather? We’re talking food in movies this week, with Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman, hosts of the podcast Movie Therapy (Kristen also co-hosts the podcast By The Book). Plus we hear from listeners looking for food-related movie recommendations, and life advice. Like Katrine in Denmark, who’s considering giving up a career in healthcare to...


How Dr. Jessica B. Harris Redefined American Food

Over the course of fifty years and a dozen books, Dr. Jessica B. Harris has uncovered the ways that West African food, and African American people, have fundamentally shaped American cuisine. In 2011, when she published her book High on the Hog, this idea had received little attention. Today it’s getting more recognition, including with a new Netflix series inspired by Dr. Harris’s book. We talk with her about her own journey in making these connections between West Africa and America, and...


"Nailed It!" Host Nicole Byer Thinks It’s Weird To Make Sandwiches

What kinds of NSFW chocolates does comedian and Nailed It host Nicole Byer mold for her cohost Jacques Torres when the cameras aren’t rolling? She tells us, plus she talks with Dan about the parallels between a restaurant kitchen and comedy club, and why she makes her own favorite cake for her late mom’s birthday. And you’ll definitely want to be listening when Nicole sees a whole shrimp for the first time. (Also check out Nicole's other podcasts, Why Won't You Date Me? and Best Friends.) //...


Nadiya Hussain, From “Great British Bake Off” To Elbows Out

When Nadiya Hussain competed on The Great British Bake Off in 2015, it seemed like all of Britain — from self-proclaimed #Nadiyators to the prime minister — was rooting for her. Since then, she’s hosted TV shows, written best-selling books, and become a household name in the UK. But the transformation we focus on in this conversation is the one that has taken place within her. She talks with Dan about growing up in a British Bangladeshi family where no one baked, developing recipes based on...


How Did Staying Hydrated Become A Thing?

To say that hydration is an invention is only a slight exaggeration. Water bottles have become a crucial accessory — a status symbol. How did that happen? This week we bring you an episode from our friends at the Slate podcast Decoder Ring. They investigate how bottled water transformed itself from a small, European luxury item to the single largest beverage category in America. It took savvy marketing from brands like Gatorade and Perrier, who pushed the idea that dehydration was a...


Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich?

Just as summer is really starting to heat up, so is the classic debate: Is a hot dog a sandwich? We revisit one of The Sporkful’s most popular episodes — one that has come to define Dan’s career (and still dominates his Twitter mentions). In front of a live audience in 2015, Dan staked his bold claim that the hot dog is indeed a sandwich, while comedian and ersatz judge John Hodgman argued the opposing position. Nothing was off-limits in this tense face-off: the Earl of Sandwich, hinged...


Should You Break Up With Your Gas Stove?

Which kind of stove do you like better: gas or electric? This debate, and the ad campaigns that have fueled it, have been raging for over a century. While more people in the U.S. today have electric, gas stoves have won the battle for prestige -- chefs prefer it. But now, the gas stove is at the center of a much bigger fight about climate change, as gas companies use the gas stove to try to ensure their future. Sporkful producer Andres O’Hara explains, then tries to convince Dan, a gas stove...


Can I Wipe My Oily Hands On My Legs?

We open the phone lines to settle your most contentious food disputes this week. Eliza wants to wipe her oily hands on her bare legs — is her boyfriend Connor right to object? Then, Natalie thinks she’s entitled to half of what her husband Josh cooks, even though he’s generally hungrier. What’s the fairest way to divvy up meals? To answer these questions, Dan enlists the help of Drew Magary and David Roth, the extremely opinionated co-hosts of The Distraction podcast and co-founders of...