The Sporkful

The Sporkful is a show "that's not for foodies, it's for eaters."


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All Episodes

April 12, 2017

Listen to a sneak preview of our upcoming episodes featuring comic Kumail Nanjiani, Rosa Parks’s pancakes, a sandwich shop in Syria, and more.

March 24, 2017

Important news: Our show is going on a brief hiatus. We’ll be back April 17 with an exciting announcement. Please make sure you’re subscribed to this podcast and our newsletter so you don’t miss it! (Newsletter at sporkful.com/newsletter)

This week we’re presenting an episode of Food52’s podcast Burnt Toast, in which host Kenzi Wilbur goes on a quest to get a pie emoji made. Check out more episodes of Burnt Toast today!

March 13, 2017

In our Pi Day Spectacular, former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses reveals the very particular way President Obama eats his pie. Plus, we discuss pi and pie with mathematician Eugenia Cheng and debate the true definition of pie with Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s Good Food.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

March 10, 2017

In this special podcast version of Dan’s new animated web video series The Snackdown, he and Food Network’s Justin Warner debate a pressing question. Take a side and share The Snackdown with your friends!

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

March 6, 2017

The writer and comedian tells us how she handles meals alone or with a sad friend, and explains why she still feels more Irish than Irish-American.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 27, 2017

In this special Sporkful investigation, we order sandwiches around New York City to find out whether places make smaller sandwiches for women. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 20, 2017

Is it possible to experience total food joy when you’re always afraid that something you eat will make you sick? Our look at life with food allergies continues with Part 2 of our mini-series, May Contain Nuts.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 13, 2017

Amy Pearl loved meat — until a steak almost killed her. We hear her riveting (and hilarious) story, and explore how allergies change your relationship with food and people. This story was originally heard on Radiolab, the second part is a new update, taped after Amy was tested for her allergy again.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 6, 2017

The co-host of Good Muslim Bad Muslim tells us how to share food without killing the romance, and why she wishes guys she dates would stop trying to out-Muslim her.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 31, 2017

Conan’s sidekick tells us why he chose a really nice refrigerator over a sports car. And he traces his issues with weight back to a childhood ice cream outing with his grandmother.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 27, 2017

Is it OK to claim your seat before you get your food in a busy restaurant? In a world where there just aren’t enough tables to go around, is there a way to serve the greater good while maximizing your own restaurant experience? Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats joins Dan to take a call from a listener.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 16, 2017

We follow one woman’s quest to get better coffee in her office, a process that culminates in a companywide taste test. Plus we ask experts whether caffeine actually makes us more productive.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 9, 2017

Last year Dan spoke with a young woman who was on the verge of developing an eating disorder. This week he speaks with her again to see how she’s doing one year later.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 2, 2017

Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer explains why tipping is a hoax, which questions his servers aren’t allowed to ask, and how his dad’s bankruptcies affected his approach to business.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 26, 2016

Sporkful listeners and Dan reveal what they resolve to eat more of in the new year. Plus we replay one of our weirdest, favoritest shows from 2016.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 19, 2016

We deliver food to elderly New Yorkers who can’t shop or cook for themselves, and talk with them about the role food plays in their lives today.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 16, 2016

If the food at a restaurant just isn’t your taste, should you send it back? A father and daughter disagree, so Dan and Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats weigh in.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 12, 2016

We talk with coquito masters in Harlem and a moonshiner in the Bronx to learn about the holiday drink that’s the centerpiece of a Puerto Rican Christmas celebration. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 6, 2016

The Top Chef host talks about food memories from her childhood in India, the challenges of straddling two cultures, and the judgments people make about her body and her brains.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 2, 2016

Are some foods meant for snacking on-the-go and others for snacking at home? Or is one of the pleasures of adulthood living without rules? A couple can’t agree. Dan and Serious Eats’ Kenji Lopez-Alt take their call and issue a verdict.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 2, 2016

Are some foods meant for snacking on-the-go and others for snacking at home? Or is one of the pleasures of adulthood living without rules? A couple can’t agree. Dan and Serious Eats’ Kenji Lopez-Alt take their call and issue a verdict.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 28, 2016

We follow a young truffle dealer as he hustles his way across New York City selling white truffles out of a styrofoam cooler in his car for thousands of dollars a pop. Then we try to figure out why people pay so much for this funky fungus.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 18, 2016

Amy Sedaris and Mo Rocca offer advice on dealing with family, Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich tells of a lovesick turkey, and we call Butterball’s hotline for life advice. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 14, 2016

Food Network star Alton Brown nerds out Sporkful style on everything from scrambled eggs to popcorn. Plus he talks about how his divorce last year changed the way he cooks and eats.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 11, 2016

A Sporkful listener tells of an epic battle over Thanksgiving pie between her mother-in-law and her cat.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 7, 2016

A group of Marines sets off into the dessert with nothing but a compass and a rumor to go on. What they find changes them forever. For Veterans Day, we bring you vets’ stories of unforgettable meals on the front lines — from fishing with grenades in WWII to bartering with Girl Scout cookies in Iraq. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

October 27, 2016

On this episode, we’ll talk to locals, a pork roll historian, and comedian Chris Gethard to find out why pork roll (Taylor ham!) is so important to the people of New Jersey.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

 

October 14, 2016

The comedian reflects on his personal experiences with race as a restaurant customer, including the pros and cons of dining out when you’re in an interracial marriage. (This is Part Four of our series, Who Is This Restaurant For? For the best listening experience, please check out Part One first.)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

October 11, 2016

What judgments do we make about a restaurant’s food based on how the people working there look? (This is Part Two of our series, Who Is This Restaurant For? For the best listening experience, please check out Part One first.)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

October 10, 2016

When you walk into a restaurant, you’re bombarded with signals that tell you what kind of place it is. But what happens when those signals bring certain people in, and keep others out?

This is Part One of a special series on race, culture and food called, Who Is This Restaurant For? This week we’ll explore the different messages sent in restaurants to try to understand how they’re interpreted and what they tell us about larger questions of race and culture.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

October 4, 2016

Ahead of the launch of a new series on race, culture and food called Who Is This Restaurant For? we’re repeating our series Other People’s Food, in case you missed part of it the first time around.

Why are we willing to pay more for Italian and Japanese food than Chinese and Mexican? As we find out in Episode 2, it has nothing to do with the ingredients. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

October 3, 2016

Ahead of a new series on race, culture, and food, we’re repeating Other People’s Food. What happens when people cook food from a culture that’s not their own? Celebrity chef Rick Bayless opens up about the pros and cons of cultural exchange. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

September 19, 2016

Humorist and Cooking Channel host Mo Rocca gets deep on ravioli – from Chef Boyardee to his grandma’s recipe to what he calls “the Kenny G of ravioli.” Plus, Mo and Dan debate Latin grammar, and Mo tells us about a meal that almost killed him. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

September 12, 2016

A champion homebrewer schools us in the science of beer and tells us how she deals with guys who question whether she really knows her stuff. Plus the women behind Bitch Beer Blog help us pair beers with weather forecasts.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

September 5, 2016

The podcast host tells us how a mishap in a grocery store in Japan made him a tea drinker for life. And he shares his childhood memories of food in a rural Michigan cult. Live on stage from Chicago!

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

August 22, 2016

We explore the science of weed-infused foods with a French pastry chef and Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad. We’ll tell you how it tastes, how it makes us feel, and what happens when you eat too way, way much of it. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

August 11, 2016

We visit a legendary pizzeria with a famously long line, then talk to scientists to try to figure out whether waiting to eat makes our food taste better — or worse.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

Check out this week’s episode of Freakonomics to hear Dan and host Stephen Dubner talk about the economics of long lines.

July 25, 2016

The comedian and co-host of 2 Dope Queens tells us what it’s like to go out to eat when you’re in an interracial relationship and who should pay on a first date.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

July 11, 2016

Former presidential candidates tell us what it’s really like to eat while campaigning. And we explore famous election food gaffes, including one that may have decided the presidency.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

June 27, 2016

We take you to two iconic hot dog joints in Detroit and New Jersey to find out what makes them special. Plus Kenji Lopez-Alt schools us on the science of deep-fried hot dogs, and Dan’s parents make a special cameo.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

June 20, 2016

A Muslim mom in Michigan tells us why cooking helps her get through her Ramadan fast, and Dan talks with two Syrian refugees spending their first Ramadan in the US. Then Dan shares an iftar meal with a Muslim taxi driver speeding through New York City.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

June 13, 2016

We explore the future of carnivorousness — from meat grown in labs to veggie burgers that really bleed to the hybrid car of burgers.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

June 6, 2016

Nikki didn’t really understand her relationship with food until she could barely eat anything. Now her kids are struggling to accept her new diet.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

May 30, 2016

Weird Al dissects his many food songs, from “My Balogna” to “Eat It,” “The White Stuff” and more. Plus, he explains why he always questions authority—except when he’s cooking. (Repeat) 

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

May 23, 2016

Everyone remembers school lunch. We talk to Sporkful listeners and a group of fifth graders about the meals and experiences that changed them forever — for better or worse.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

May 16, 2016

The actor and writer isn’t a fan of American food excess — except when it provides the perfect metaphor for his own tri-cultural upbringing.

He talks about making sense of his dueling identities, his love of peanut butter, and the fight he had with his father over a Big Gulp.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

May 9, 2016

Two couples call in to settle longstanding food disputes. But are these marital spats really just about leftovers and dessert? Dan and Serious Eats’ Kenji Lopez-Alt, author of The Food Lab cookbook, get to the bottom of it.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

May 9, 2016

Two couples call in to settle longstanding food disputes. But are these marital spats really just about leftovers and dessert? Dan and Serious Eats’ Kenji Lopez-Alt, author of The Food Lab cookbook, get to the bottom of it.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

April 25, 2016

The native Minnesotan explains why a little internal bleeding can’t keep her from a treat, and why the way she eats salad is like the way she deals with depression.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

April 18, 2016

Ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover, the man who runs one of the biggest matzoh factories in the world schools us on the science behind these excellent crackers. Then Dan debates kosher law with a rabbi. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

April 11, 2016

The founder of America’s Test Kitchen hates celebrations and says pleasure’s annoying. He explains why he thinks cooking isn’t about either, and how he got this way.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

April 4, 2016

It’s Elkhart, Indiana, 2001. Two inches of Heather Coleman’s turkey club disappear from her office fridge. The thief is nowhere to be found. And Heather’s life will never be the same. In this tribute to the hit podcast Serial we investigate a shocking true story of office fridge food theft. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

March 31, 2016

Artist Ashok Kondabolu and comedian Michelle Buteau grew up in immigrant families, straddling food cultures. They have different opinions on the line between assimilation and appropriation, but they agree on one thing: It’s personal.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

March 29, 2016

Joe McNeil’s order at a segregated lunch counter in 1960 changed the way Americans eat forever. We met him for lunch to discuss his historic protest — and the finer points of apple pie.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

March 28, 2016

Nicole Taylor went through a phase where she rejected the soul food she grew up with. She called it all “slave food.” Truth is, we all make judgments about what food is for which people, whether or not we realize it.

Why are we willing to pay more for Italian and Japanese food than Chinese and Mexican? As we find out in this week’s show, it has nothing to do with the ingredients.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

March 21, 2016

What happens when people cook food from a culture that’s not their own? Celebrity chef Rick Bayless opens up about the pros and cons of cultural exchange.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

March 16, 2016

What can we learn about how we perceive culture and race by talking about food? That’s the first of many questions we’ll be asking next week, when we kick off our special series “Other People’s Food.”

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

March 7, 2016

What do a great bartender and a great priest have in common? We ask a Catholic priest who moonlights as a mixologist.

Plus, Dan revisits a beloved pub from his past to find out what makes a great bar.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 29, 2016

A married couple calls in to debate whether to make their kids eat green beans with silverware. But like so many marital disputes, this one isn’t really about green beans.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 29, 2016

A married couple calls in to debate whether to make their kids eat green beans with silverware. But like so many marital disputes, this one isn’t really about green beans.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 22, 2016

The leader of the farm-to-table movement loves Cracker Jacks, hates questions about GMO’s, and says no one invites him to dinner. He just wants people to chill out about food. But are his followers missing his message?

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 18, 2016

Is the toaster the enemy of good bagels, a friend to bad ones, or both? Dan moderates this debate live on WNYC radio with Serious Eats’ Kenji Lopez-Alt, Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman, and listener calls.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 15, 2016

Chef Charles Phan shows us the right way to eat Vietnamese pho. Then we take a deep dive into the science of soup slurping with a researcher who studies the mechanics of eating.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 8, 2016

The Sporkful Family Food Court is back in session. A husband and wife debate when to eat movie popcorn, and a mother and daughter argue over whether eating salad dressing makes you an adult. 

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

February 1, 2016

Writer (and iconoclast) Jiayang Fan argues that dumplings are overrated. Can a group of architects improve the design of Lunar New Year’s beloved comfort food?

Plus Jiayang talks about her confusion upon coming to the US from China and finding that Americans like “the most zestless part of any animal.”

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 25, 2016

Myq Kaplan is a linguist, vegan, and stand-up comic, so he and Dan debate the definition of water and whether eggless vegan mayo should be called mayo.

Plus, is picking all the pretzels out of a snack mix wrong? A philosophy professor tells us what Socrates would say. Live on stage from Tufts University!

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 18, 2016

When potato chips make a louder crunch, people think they taste better. Changing the background music can make chocolate taste sweeter. And you can tell whether you’re cutting scallions correctly by the sound they make. Find out why and hear (and taste) the difference for yourself in this week’s show!

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 11, 2016

The comedian’s eating disorder nearly killed her. This week on The Sporkful, she offers advice to a teenage listener who may be heading down the same path. But will it help?

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 7, 2016

In honor of The Sporkful’s sixth anniversary, we’re re-releasing our first episode ever, in which Dan and former co-host Mark Garrison debate all things ice cubes.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

January 4, 2016

Poutine is flooding across America’s northern border! But what’s so great about fries, gravy, and cheese curds? Two proud Canadians — Ophira Eisenberg (Ask Me Another, The Moth) and Matty Matheson (Vice’s Keep It Canada) — school us in their home and native land (and its food).

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 28, 2015

We reveal the foods we resolve to eat more of next year and replay our favorite episode from 2015. If you’ve ever sipped a beer in the shower, this one’s for you. (Repeat with new material)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 28, 2015

We reveal the foods we resolve to eat more of next year and replay our favorite episode from 2015. If you’ve ever sipped a beer in the shower, this one’s for you. (Repeat with new material)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 21, 2015

The famously opinionated restaurant critic takes questions from Sporkful listeners on latte foam preservation, carrot stick-to-dip ratio, and when in a meal to take the best bite. Taped live on stage at the Bell House in Brooklyn. 

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 17, 2015

Serious Eats food science guru Kenji Lopez-Alt challenges some of Dan’s eating innovations, then Sporkful listeners challenge Kenji with their own questions. Can The Sporkful stump Kenji?

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 14, 2015

Sometimes food bridges divides, other times it creates them. This week listeners call in to share stories of food and in-laws. Emma wooed her wife’s Christian family with Hanukkah potato pancakes, but Erin’s in-laws shunned her vegan diet.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 14, 2015

Sometimes food bridges divides, other times it creates them. This week listeners call in to share stories of food and in-laws. Emma wooed her wife’s Christian family with Hanukkah potato pancakes, but Erin’s in-laws shunned her vegan diet.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

December 7, 2015

The YouTube star talks about coming out to herself and her family, why throwing parties makes her anxious, and how you know you’re too drunk to cook.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 30, 2015

This long-running feud comes to a head live on stage, with WNYC’s Brooke Gladstone moderating. It’s like a presidential debate, but with more dignity.

NOTE FROM DAN: The largest share of The Sporkful’s funding comes from YOU. If you want our show to keep going and growing, please support us today. We’ll thank you with a limited edition poster from the hot dog sandwich debate, signed by John Hodgman, Brooke Gladstone, and me! Donate here: http://bit.ly/1OqqsgL. And thank you!

Please subscribe to this podcast so you never miss an episode!

November 30, 2015

This long-running feud comes to a head live on stage, with WNYC’s Brooke Gladstone moderating. It’s like a presidential debate, but with more dignity.

NOTE FROM DAN: The largest share of The Sporkful’s funding comes from YOU. If you want our show to keep going and growing, please support us today. We’ll thank you with a limited edition poster from the hot dog sandwich debate, signed by John Hodgman, Brooke Gladstone, and me! Donate here: http://bit.ly/1OqqsgL. And thank you!

Please subscribe to this podcast so you never miss an episode!

November 23, 2015

Dan eats fresh mozzarella with the former Van Halen frontman and drinks beer out of paper cups with the legendary French chef. It turns out neither of these guys is who you think they are.

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November 23, 2015

Dan eats fresh mozzarella with the former Van Halen frontman and drinks beer out of paper cups with the legendary French chef. It turns out neither of these guys is who you think they are.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 19, 2015

Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich tells the story of a turkey that put the moves on his wife, we learn how NOT to make dessert with On The Media’s Brooke Gladstone, and we find out what happens when people ask a Butterball Turkey Lady to mediate a family dispute. 

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 19, 2015

Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich tells the story of a turkey that put the moves on his wife, we learn how NOT to make dessert with On The Media’s Brooke Gladstone, and we find out what happens when people ask a Butterball Turkey Lady to mediate a family dispute. (Repeat)

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

November 16, 2015

Amy Sedaris and Mo Rocca offer advice on dealing with family at the holidays, the NY Times’ Sam Sifton rails against appetizers at Thanksgiving, and Kenji Lopez-Alt talks turkey science.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or the Podcasts app so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful. 

November 9, 2015

For Veterans Day, we bring you vets’ stories of unforgettable meals on the front lines — from fishing with grenades in WWII to bartering with Girl Scout cookies in Iraq. 

Plus a group of Marines sets off into the dessert with nothing but a compass and a rumor to go on. What they find changes them forever.

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November 2, 2015

We cook up a Diwali feast with a Trinidadian mother and daughter and discuss straddling cultures with the Indian-American DJ who introduced a blend of hip hop and Punjabi folk music to the club scene.

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October 26, 2015

The TV host and best-selling author discusses growing up on Army bases all over the world, her own time in the Air Force, and the foods she ate along the way — from blood sausage to bibimbap to Spam.

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October 19, 2015
In this special Sporkful investigation, Dan and Slate’s Laura “L.V.” Anderson order sandwiches around New York City to find out whether sandwich sexism is real.
 
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October 12, 2015
Sporkful listeners call in for Dan’s advice on family food feuds. Matt in Ohio can’t abide his brother’s non-traditional pancake toppings, and Chloe and Jason in Baltimore need help settling a serious cookie conflict. But it turns out these domestic disputes are really about love. And also pancakes and cookies.
 
Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.
October 12, 2015
Sporkful listeners call in for Dan’s advice on family food feuds. Matt in Ohio can’t abide his brother’s non-traditional pancake toppings, and Chloe and Jason in Baltimore need help settling a serious cookie conflict. But it turns out these domestic disputes are really about love. And also pancakes and cookies.
 
Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.
October 5, 2015

The popular comedian talks about the glory of popcorn with Raisinets, his efforts to eat healthier, and the frustrations of getting his autistic son to do the same. Plus he explains why starting out in comedy is a lot like learning to cook.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

September 28, 2015

Dan Pashman and WTF host Marc Maron have been arguing about eating for over a decade. This week they discuss food shame and eating disorders, then debate the merits of melon balls and whether the high from eating sausage gravy is worth the sadness that follows.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode! Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

September 21, 2015

Lilly and her father Chris disagree on the best way to make root beer floats, but they’re on the same page when it comes to this classic treat’s restorative powers. 

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September 14, 2015

Dan goes out to eat with WNYC’s John Hockenberry and a blogger who calls himself “The Disabled Foodie” to find out about the less obvious challenges of navigating a restaurant when you’re in a wheelchair.

Plus YouTube star Zach Anner, who has cerebral palsy, tells us how he deals with people who offer him help that he doesn’t need.

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September 7, 2015

Kids pitch Dan and Hillary Frank (Longest Shortest Time) their innovative food concoctions. Turns out, some of them sound pretty delicious. But is the world ready for peanut butter hot dogs and chili milkshakes?

Plus, Dan and Hillary share delicious and disgusting food stories from their own childhoods.

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August 31, 2015

Two Sporkful listeners call in to debate the best way to make enchiladas: flat (lasagna style) or rolled. Can Dan’s advice restore peace and save Enchilada Party Night? 

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August 24, 2015

At the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Belgian waffles were introduced to America. They became a sensation. But a half century later, the woman who sold those waffles says her family’s legacy has been co-opted. She joins Dan to share her memories of that World’s Fair, and to explain why her mother still blames her father for everything that went wrong.

Plus, we introduce her to an innovative, young waffle-maker who’s shaking things up. Can they find common ground?

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August 17, 2015

Shower beers have long been a delicious, easy way to pamper yourself. But some Sporkful listeners take shower drinking — and eating — to a whole new level.

Dan takes calls on how to pair your beer with your shower, how to eat an ice cream sandwich in the shower, and the best shower soup ever.

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August 10, 2015

Live on stage from Chicago! The band Spoon discusses their post-show microwave popcorn ritual, and one member admits he sometimes thinks about pizza while performing.

Plus a mathematician slices a bagel into a Mobius strip, an opera singer performs an aria about donuts, and members of an improv comedy group discuss summer food festival eating strategy.

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August 3, 2015

Live on stage from Chicago! Hot Doug explains why he turned down millions and closed his famous sausage shop. Plus, filmmaker and food writer Kevin Pang talks about his documentary, For Grace, about Chef Curtis Duffy, one of the top chefs in the world. And Curtis joins us to discuss his journey to the top, and to reveal his favorite candy. 

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July 27, 2015

What would you do if you had to choose between the food you love and the person you love? This week on The Sporkful listeners call in to ask Dan for advice on eating in relationships. 

Jen in D.C. needs guidance on dating a picky eater, and a feuding husband and wife debate the best way to eat a cornbread muffin. Will food do these couples part?

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July 20, 2015

The food-obsessed comic discusses eating with his five children, navigating birthday parties and buffets, his dad’s steaks, and when it’s OK to lie to your kids. Plus he explains why he’s the Jean-Claude Van Damme of eating on television.

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July 13, 2015

It’s an extra cheesy edition of The Sporkful! Adam and Jonathan in L.A. call in to debate a world with only one cheese and why cheddar is like Hugh Grant. Plus, Erica in Illinois asks when a grilled cheese has so many fillings, it’s no longer a grilled cheese.

Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode! 

Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.

July 6, 2015
Comic and former Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac takes us for curry goat and oxtails in his old neighborhood and explains how it feels to go out to eat in the place where you grew up — and suddenly realize you’re an outsider.
Please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode! 
Follow Dan on Twitter and Instagram @TheSporkful and at Facebook.com/Sporkful.
June 29, 2015

Dan fills a taxi full of food and takes it to JFK Airport at sundown to break the Ramadan fast with Muslim cab drivers. What could go wrong? Plus a Texan talks about embracing her Muslim roots after 9/11 and fasting on Ramadan for the first time when she was in her 30s. And Arab-American teens reveal the best and worst parts of Ramadan.

June 22, 2015

A flavor chemist explains the science of burger smashing and how the order of your toppings affects how they taste. Plus a man in search of the perfect burger lays out exactly what he’s looking for. 

Come see The Sporkful live on stage at the Taste of Chicago! Saturday, July 11 at 1:30 pm in the Food for Thought area. Guests will include Spoon the band, Doug Sohn of Hot Doug’s, an opera singing donut maker, and a mathematician who loves pi and pie. Plus discussion of summer food festival strategy and an Oreo cookie eating activity. See you there! 

June 15, 2015

How did vanilla become the default flavor of ice cream? Do those black flecks actually make it more delicious? And which is better, cup or cone? Dan discusses with Spilled Milk hosts Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton. Plus Weird Al weighs in, and Bon Appetit’s Adam Rapoport debates the merits of pie with Dan’s Aunt Meryl.

June 8, 2015

Dan and Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad explore the new frontier of weed-infused foods with a French pastry chef. They’ll tell you how it tastes. They’ll tell you how it makes them feel. And they’ll tell you what happens when you eat way, way too much of it.

June 1, 2015

Chicago Tribune food writer Kevin Pang reveals his top ten favorite sausages, from Chinese lap cheong to Lil’ Smokies. Plus we debate whether hot dogs are a type of sausage, and the discussion brings up painful memories from Kevin’s childhood.

May 25, 2015

Dan talks Buzz Management with Matthew Latkiewicz, author of “You Suck At Drinking,” and the founders of Bitch Beer help him pair beers with weather forecasts. Plus, Dan goes on a rant about why he loves light beer but hates their marketing. Pour yourself a cold one and get comfy.

May 18, 2015

The famously opinionated former New York Times restaurant critic loves frozen Milky Ways and once packed 104 different pastrami sandwiches into her car. Just don’t offer her kale. Plus, she reveals the one dish she forgot to include in her new book, “1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die.”

May 11, 2015

What’s the worst food gig in the ballpark? What’s the best Cracker Jack prize? Should you eat the peanut shells? We explore the two foods immortalized in “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” with Mike Pesca from Slate’s The Gist, Ted Berg of USA TODAY, and third generation peanut man Nile Brisson.

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May 4, 2015

Is the perfect burrito a feat of engineering or art? Dan debates burrito construction and the LA/SF rivalry with Jesse Thorn (MaxFun, Bullseye) and Evan Kleiman (KCRW’s Good Food). Plus Vox’s Matt Yglesias compares Chipotle burritos to iPhones.

April 27, 2015

Is a buttered roll a sandwich? What about a hot dog? Is it still brunch if it’s 2 pm? Should sparkling water be called water? Dan debates food and language with Peter Kim from the Museum of Food and Drink and Helen Zaltzman from The Allusionist.

April 20, 2015

The popular comedian talks about the glory of popcorn with Raisinets, his efforts to eat healthier, and the frustrations of getting his autistic son to do the same. Plus he explains why starting out in comedy is a lot like learning to cook.

April 13, 2015

The host of Bizarre Foods says, “We have such a narrow definition of what’s edible.” So IBM wants its Watson technology to discover new flavors and foods. But how will the future taste? Dan sits down with Andrew Zimmern and the people behind Watson, then he and New Tech City’s Manoush Zomorodi take Chef Watson for a test drive.

April 6, 2015

A cross-country donut quest takes Dan from wacky Voodoo Doughnut and artisanal Blue Star Donuts in Portland to old school Peter Pan Donuts in Brooklyn. Along the way he talks to eaters and bakers alike, in hopes of answering one question: What’s the difference between a good donut and a great one?

March 30, 2015

When Slate’s Mike Pesca and I pull out all the stops to make the best turkey sandwich ever begotten in an office kitchenette, the results are life-changing. We also discuss what you can tell about a workplace based on the kitchen and why a messy office fridge can actually be a good thing.

Plus, are Big Brother eyes the secret to office kitchen harmony? It’s the fourth episode in The Sporkful’s special investigation of office eating.

March 23, 2015

Dan talks to two guys who used Freedom of Information Act requests to unearth the contents of the CIA cafeteria suggestion box. It turns out even spies hate stale bread. And don’t even get them started on something called a Jazz Salad. 

Plus, the unwritten rules of office potlucks. Do you know how to tell a rigged, collaborative meal from a true potluck? It’s the third episode in The Sporkful’s special investigation of office eating.

March 16, 2015

When you share a communal fridge in an office or apartment, your philosophy about how that fridge should be used says a lot about how you think society should function.

How should resources be allocated? How much individual liberty should we each have? When should big government intervene?

As with these timeless questions of governance, with communal fridges there’s a lot of disagreement. This week on The Sporkful, listeners call in with contrasting perspectives.

 

March 9, 2015

It’s Elkhart, Indiana, 2001. Two inches of Heather Coleman’s turkey club disappear from her office fridge. The thief is nowhere to be found. And Heather’s life will never be the same. In this tribute to the hit podcast Serial we investigate a shocking true story of office fridge food theft.

March 2, 2015

Dan talks to the curator of the Moist Towelette Museum about the best way to use them and what makes an especially great one. Then Dan and his friend Mark Garrison debate cloth vs. paper napkins, whether napkin color affects meal enjoyment, and whether restaurants should be banned from using scented hand soap.

February 23, 2015

Why do our brains go crazy for the melted cheese on a Philly cheesesteak or the crispy fried goodness of scrapple? (And what is scrapple anyway?) This week on The Sporkful we feast on some classic Philadelphia fare, then bring samples to a scientist at the Monell Center to find out what makes greasy treats so irresistible. If science were always this delicious, Dan would have a Nobel Prize by now.

February 16, 2015

Chef Eddie Huang is tired of the media’s two-dimensional portrayals of Asian-Americans. Taking a cue from Huang’s new TV show Fresh Off The Boat, Dan tries chicken feet and a dessert soup called tang yuan with some passionate eaters who are defying stereotypes.

February 9, 2015

What should you cook for breakfast the morning after? What do you do if your partner has very different taste in food? How can couples share power in the kitchen without driving each other crazy? We talk food and relationships with advice columnist Dan Savage. Plus Anna Sale from Death, Sex and Money explains how bruschetta helped convince her to give marriage a second shot.

January 19, 2015

What soda pairs best with enchiladas? Why are soft drinks carbonated with dry ice so much better? Dan visits the soda-obsessed owner of Galco’s in Los Angeles, and covers regional soda pop nomenclature with a linguist. Got belly wash?

January 12, 2015

How will research big food companies are doing today affect what we eat tomorrow? And how can it make our lives more delicious now? We get a rare peek inside the Campbell’s Test Kitchen.

January 5, 2015

The Two Man Gentlemen Band performs “Pork Chops” and “Fancy Beer” live in studio and shares tips for eating while driving a tour van (or any vehicle). Plus we discuss the intersection of food and music with Zach Brooks from Food Is The New Rock.

December 29, 2014

Which is better for a hangover–hash browns or home fries? Is crisp the only metric worth considering? And are tater tots hash browns? We cover breakfast potato minutiae with Slate’s L.V. Anderson, just in time for New Year’s. Plus Dan picks the food he resolves to eat more of in 2015.

December 15, 2014

How do you convince an indecisive group to go to your preferred restaurant? Where’s the line between pizza and flatbread? And if your friends say your salsa’s too spicy, should you make milder salsa or get spicier friends? We take your calls! 

December 8, 2014

Many people tell me my book makes a great gift for anyone who loves to eat, but I don’t want to use this post to promote it. That would be crass. Instead I’d like to use this opportunity to promote other people’s excellent work and help you with your holiday shopping in the process.

League of Kitchens

Give the gift of an “ethnic” cooking class with an immigrant home cook in her own home. Come for the learning, stay for the post-class feast!

 

Scott’s Pizza Tours

You think you love pizza? You’ve got nothing on Scott Wiener, whose passion for this culinary delight is matched only by his encyclopedic knowledge of New York’s finest offerings. Ask him about his collection of pizza boxes.

 

Restaurant Gift Certificate

Many pies were on sale at the Grand Central bake sale for The Food Bank of New York.

This is one of my favorite gifts to receive. If the person you’re shopping for likes new experiences, pick a place they haven’t tried yet. If they’re more of a traditionalist, stick with what they love. Either way, who doesn’t like when someone buys them a delicious meal?

 

Short Stack Editions

A good book is as much as a life experience as a material possession. These small cookbooks are beautiful, hand-bound gems. Each covers a single ingredient, ranging from eggs to tomatoes to broccoli to brown sugar. Buy them individually or in sets!

 

East New York Farms

enyflogo160.png (160×160)

Studies have also shown that helping those in need provides more lasting happiness than getting stuff. So make a charitable donation in someone else’s name to this grassroots organization that supports urban gardens and farmers markets in East New York and Brownsville, Brooklyn.

 Oh—and did you know I have a new book out? (Last self-promotion, I swear.)

You can even support a local, independent bookstore when you order a signed, personalized copy of Eat More Better by phone from Book Revue.

Anne Saini contributed to this article.

December 8, 2014

The creator of the cronut tells us why he ends every day with one and what he thinks of his many imitators. Plus Grub Street’s Hugh Merwin on whether the cronut lives up to the hype. And we play food portmanteau trivia!

December 1, 2014

Dan and WTF host Marc Maron have been arguing about eating for over a decade. This week they revisit old feuds and start news ones, sparring over temperature contrast in sandwiches, the merits of melon balls, and whether the high from sausage gravy is worth the food shame-induced crash. Plus Dan recaps his own Thanksgiving anxieties.

November 23, 2014

Amy Sedaris offers advice on dealing with family who are drunk or confrontational at the holidays. Plus, Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich on the time a turkey fell in love with his wife.

Amy Sedaris says she loves a family fight at the holidays and tells us how to deal with guests who are drunk and/or confrontational. Plus Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich on the time a turkey fell in love with his wife.

November 17, 2014

Dan talks with Serious Eats’ Kenji Lopez-Alt about the science of turkey cookery and gets a vegetarian perspective on Thanksgiving from Slate’s L.V. Anderson. Plus, On The Media’s Brooke Gladstone shows Dan how to make her favorite holiday dessert — to disastrous effect.

November 10, 2014

Mo Rocca explains how to avoid feeling bad when you don’t cook on Thanksgiving and how to deal with family strife. New York Times food editor Sam Sifton tells us how to class up your holiday table and reveals the one thing he considers a grievous Thanksgiving insult. Plus Sam’s colleague Rosie Schaap shows us what to drink when you’re spending a fall day in the kitchen.

October 8, 2014

Anthony Weiner was recently selected to be a judge in a bagel-tasting contest. Little did the organizers realize how seriously the former congressman would take his duties. To hear the full episode, visit The Sporkful

October 6, 2014

On The Media’s Brooke Gladstone calls modern fluffy bagels “a betrayal.” Anthony Weiner calls BuzzFeed’s bagel judging event “offensive.” What’s the right way to do bagels?

September 22, 2014

Humorist and Cooking Channel host Mo Rocca joins Dan to talk about his grandma, debate whether square or round ravioli is better, and tell us which variety is the Kenny G of ravioli.

August 26, 2014

Full disclosure: I’m a caliente wimp. But 11-year-old hot sauce enthusiast (and founding president of The Sporkful Junior Eaters Society) Nathaniel Goodyear thinks he can change that. 

August 19, 2014

S’mores combine wonderful flavors and textures in a format that’s structurally problematic. Graham crackers splinter upon bite impact, resulting in a s’more experience I’d like to have s’less.

In my You’re Eating It Wrong lab, I recreate an authentic campfire experience and experiment with new and better ways to make s’mores, with help from Keavy Blueher of Kumquat Cupcakery and Allison Kave of First Prize Pies. (They’re also the duo behind Brooklyn’s forthcoming dessert and craft cocktail bar, Butter & Scotch.)

 

Recipe: S’mores Pie

Allison was nice enough to share the recipe for her s’mores pie, which is in her cookbook and featured in this video. Here it is, with her introduction:

The first time I experimented with this recipe, I used a very dark, bittersweet chocolate (as a rule, I tend to prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate). I can emphatically say that it was not a success. When you want to re-create the toasty, comforting taste of your childhood s’mores (always my favorite part of camping!), only milk chocolate will do.

If you don’t have the time, patience, or equipment necessary to make the marshmallow fluff (but try it; it’s worth it!), you can place whole marshmallows over the cooled pie filling and toast those instead. It won’t be as beautiful as the recipe below, but on what planet could toasted marshmallows be bad?

Makes one 9-inch pie

INGREDIENTS

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:
1 1/2 cups (175 grams) finely ground graham cracker crumbs
5 to 8 tablespoons (70 to 115 grams) unsalted butter, melted

S’MORES PIE FILLING:
1 cup (240 milliliters) heavy cream
8 ounces (225 grams) high-quality milk chocolate, chopped or chips
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt

S’MORES PIE TOPPING:
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2/3 cup (160 milliliters) light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Special Equipment: a kitchen torch

For Graham Cracker Crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Crumble the graham crackers into the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Alternatively, you can put them in a bag and whack them with a rolling pin until finely crushed. Pour the butter into the crumbs and mix (hands are best for this) until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Firmly press the crumbs against the sides of a 9-inch (23-centimeter) pie pan, then against the bottom of the pan (the underside of a measuring cup works well for smoothing the bottom crust). Chill the crust for at least 15 minutes to help prevent it from crumbling when serving. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove it and allow it to cool before filling.

For S’mores Pie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Make the filling: In a saucepan, heat the cream over medium-high heat until it is scalded. Pour it over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and let it stand for 1 minute. Whisk it thoroughly until combined into a glossy ganache. Whisk in the egg and salt until fully incorporated.
Put the crust on a baking sheet. Pour the chocolate filling into the crust and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling has just set and is still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove the pie to cool completely.

Make the topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large heatproof bowl, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 2/3 cup (160 milliliters) water. In a clean, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and another 2/3 cup (160 milliliters) water. Cook the sugar mixture over medium-high heat, stirring only at the beginning to dissolve the sugar, and boil it until a candy thermometer reaches the hard-ball stage (260 degrees F/130 degrees C). When the sugar is close to reaching this stage, turn on the stand mixer with the softened gelatin (or quickly beat the gelatin in your bowl to blend).

Once you’ve reached the right temperature, turn on the stand or hand mixer to low speed, and slowly pour the hot syrup in a steady stream into the gelatin while mixing. Try to avoid the sides of the bowl and aim for the space between the beater and the side. When all of the syrup is in, increase the speed gradually to high to avoid splashing, and continue to beat until the mixture is very thick and has tripled in volume, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla, beat for a minute more, and then pour the topping over the pie. It will slowly spread to cover the surface, or you can use a spatula to spread it.

Allow the topping to cool at room temperature or in the fridge until it has set, about 30 minutes. If you are using a torch (the preferred method), make sure the area you are working in is clear of any plastic, paper, or other flammable items, and that the surface you are working on is fireproof (steel, marble, etc.). You can put a baking sheet under the pie to protect your countertops. Light the torch and start to lightly toast the surface of the pie, going darker or lighter according to your preference (I like my marshmallow pretty scorched, but that’s me!). When the pie is perfectly bruleed, turn off the torch, and allow the pie to cool for 10 minutes.

If you are torch-less, you can do this in the broiler, but keep a close eye, as it requires patience, watchfulness, and speed. Preheat your broiler, put the pie on a baking sheet, and use foil or a pie shield to cover the crust edges. Broil the pie about 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) from the heat source, rotating the pie for even toasting, until the topping is at your desired color. It burns very easily with this method, so watch closely! It’s best to keep the oven door cracked open and watch and rotate the whole time. Remove the pie and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Your pie is now ready to serve, or you can keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week. To cover, spray foil or plastic wrap very lightly with oil spray to prevent it from sticking to the topping. For easier slicing, run your knife under hot water first to prevent the marshmallow from sticking to the blade.
Notes

Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat, open flame, and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They should only be used in well-ventilated areas. When lighting a propane gas torch, place the torch on a flat, steady surface, facing away from you. Light the match or lighter and then open the gas valve. Light the gas jet, and blow out the match. Always turn off the burner valve to “finger tight” when finished using the torch. Children should never use a propane gas torch without adult supervision.

From “First Prize Pies” by Allison Kave. Copyright Stewart, Kabori and Chang (an imprint of Abrams) 2014. Provided courtesy of Allison Kave. All rights reserved. 

August 11, 2014

He’s well known for his less-than-flattering portrayals of excess and gluttony, but Morgan Spurlock seems to apply the mantra “all things in moderation” only “in moderation.” 

July 29, 2014

There are a lot of desserts named after severe weather phenomena, but not all of them are created equal. We asked tornado alley’s top meteorologist, Gary England, to help us rank some of these desserts, based on the severity of the weather they are named for. In addition to Gary England’s dessert rankings, the newest episode of The Sporkful includes a conversation Paul Breslin about how weather affects our tastes. Breslin is a professor with the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers University. He also works with the Monell Chemical Senses Center, researching taste perception.

July 25, 2014

I was eight years old when Dairy Queen introduced their now-famous Blizzard. A perfect concoction of ice cream and candy, it nurtured the young eater that I was, and led me to gain more than a few pounds during that magical summer. Years later, working a dead-end temp job in Chicago, my life had a lot less magic. But the Dairy Queen Blizzard visited me in my dreams one night, giving me solace and hope. The dream was so vivid and so intense, that I spent most of the next day writing a poem about the Blizzard; and I share that fine poem with you now.

Dan as a weighty youngster, circa 1987, around the time he discovered the Dairy Queen Blizzard.

I Dreamed of a Dairy Queen Blizzard Last Night

I dreamed of a Dairy Queen Blizzard last night
With M&Ms, ice cream and more
It was filled to the bottom with toppings
Heath Bars and Reese’s galore

I dreamed of a Dairy Queen Blizzard last night
A creamy and crunchy cold treat
I almost chewed right through my pillow
Cause the dream made me eager to eat

I dreamed of a Dairy Queen Blizzard last night
So real I could taste it I’m sure
I woke and I just had to have one
So I jumped up and ran out the door

I dreamed of a Dairy Queen Blizzard last night
A vision both cruel and sublime
Cause I must be at work at 8:30
And DQ doesn’t open till nine

I dreamed of a Dairy Queen Blizzard last night
Now I’m stuck at my desk like a knave
But I know it will just be a matter of time
Till my stomach receives what it craves

I dreamed of a Dairy Queen Blizzard last night
And I thought of it till work did end
Then I ran like the world’s fastest sprinter
To the DQ that’s just ‘round the bend

I dreamed of a Dairy Queen Blizzard last night
And at last my great dream has come true
Candy and ice cream in perfect proportion
I’ll love you forever, DQ.

For more on the Dairy Queen Blizzard, and other meteorological desserts, listen to the newest episode of The Sporkful podcast. 

July 24, 2014

Sporkful host, Dan Pashman, throws down over what does and doesn’t constitute a sandwich…beginning with his controversial stance that a hot dog is NOT a sandwich. He’s joined by participants from a variety of backgrounds, including John Hodgman, Micki Maynard of the New York Times, Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, and the Planet Money team (who recently reported on why the state of New York defines a burrito as a sandwich).

July 17, 2014

Melon balls look nice, but they roll all over the plate. Squares and rectangles are fine but boring. Wedges can work well, but if they’re too wide your face gets covered in juice, and if they’re too narrow they’re unsatisfying.

Enter the Spiral Cut Watermelon.

By employing the same spiral cut technology used for Easter hams and county fair fried potatoes, we can eat watermelon better. This technique allows you to slice off watermelon wedges of varying widths with only a single cut. One watermelon produces many size wedges for many size faces, and everyone goes home happy. Plus it just looks so beautiful. 

For more eatovations like this check out my forthcoming book, Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious.

July 15, 2014

Eating off children’s plates is part of the everyday dining experience for parents. But can you find hidden gems? Watch Dan Pashman’s video guide to what’s edible and what’s just too gross.

July 8, 2014

How do you find deliciousness among the detritus of your kids’ table scraps? Do you ever sneak treats when your kids aren’t looking, or try to get them to order the thing you want to eat at a restaurant, since you know they won’t finish it anyway? If so, what’s the best way to do it without them catching on?

Next week on The Sporkful we’ll talk about all this and more when we cover Eating While Parenting.

Our guests will include Hillary Frank of WNYC’s parenting podcast The Longest Shortest Time and Arun Venegopal of WNYC’s Micropolis, plus a special cameo from former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. Listen to the above preview, in which I ask the congressman about his policy on whether to eat his two-and-a-half year old son’s leftover scraps.

July 8, 2014

Like burying beetles and blowflies, parents are natural scavengers. We have no time or energy to make our own decent meals so we scavenge for what we can, where we can, defying the laws of grossness to which non-parents adhere. (And sometimes we even find some tasty morsels.)

I’ve identified a hierarchy of small children’s table scraps, to help parents decide where to draw the line between edible and trash-worthy. Here they are, from the ideal scenario to the bottom of the barrel:

Dan’s Hierarchy of Kids’ Table Scraps

1. On the plate, untouched. 

2. On the plate, mushed around with hands. 

3. Picked up and dropped on the floor. 

4. Put in the mouth and returned to the plate. 

5. Put in the mouth and dropped on the floor by accident. 

6. Put in the mouth and dropped on the floor on purpose.*

*If the food was put on the floor intentionally, there was likely velocity involved. The food was probably hurled, which means it was hand-smooshed before being thrown. That’s why this is the worst — the food has been degraded by the mouth, hands, and floor.

I’ll be taking your questions on how to make mealtime happier in a Google+ Hangout with The Longest Shortest Time. You can submit questions ahead of time here.

July 1, 2014

There’s no shortage of hot dog and sausage joints in Chicago, but one restaurant inspires a level of devotion unlike any other–Hot Doug’s. People come from all over the country to wait in line for hours for a taste of their exotic sausage concoctions and Chicago style hot dogs. Doug has turned down million dollar offers to expand, and recently, he announced that he’s closing up shop in October. Dan Pashman travels to Hot Doug’s to find out what makes it special and why Doug is walking away. Also in this show, Dan explains why hot dogs are sandwiches and covers the time that hot dogs defeated the Nazis.

June 30, 2014

Bad hot dog buns are a dry and crumbly scourge on our great land. Even some of the fresh-baked varieties are problematic, because they’re so thick that they throw off the proper dog-to-bun ratio.

When you do get the bun right, you still have to worry about condiments. Spread them carelessly and there’s no going back.

Here’s how to overcome overcondimentation and make bad buns better:

1. Buy better buns. The best are top-sliced buns that you griddle in butter. Next best option: potato buns.

The bun and the dog, happy together. 

2. Use the dog to improve the bun. If you’re stuck with a dry bun, as soon as you put the hot dog in it, press the bun down all around to smoosh it into the dog. The heat and moisture from the dog will warm and moisten the bun. Plus you’re removing air from the bun, giving it a dense toothsinkability and moving your tongue closer to the dog.

A different sort of dog-bun ratio. 

3. Alter your ratios. Buy three times more hot dogs than buns. Slice the buns into thirds and simply use them as doghandles. After all, the dog is the star. And this technique makes it easier than ever to…

Dipping the dog, for best results.

4. Dip on a per-bite basis. Don’t pour condiments right on your hot dog! That locks you in to one dog-to-condiment ratio throughout. What if you want a bite with ketchup and mustard, then one unadulterated? When you dip on a per-bite basis you can many experiences from just one hot dog.

Watch the video above to see these tips in action! Check out my cooking series You’re Eating It Wrong for more videos. And hear my entire hot dog episode of The Sporkful here.

June 26, 2014

When it comes to the correct definition of a sandwich, I’m a strict constructionist. I believe we must look to the Earl of Sandwich’s original intent, which is why I’ve been dubbed the Scalia of Sandwiches.

Even with my conservative approach to sandwichdom, I consider a hot dog to be a sandwich. That’s why I was shocked to see recently that a man I respect and admire, Judge John Hodgman, had ruled that hot dogs are not sandwiches.

He writes, “Unlike any sandwich, you would NEVER cut and serve a hot dog in halves, unless under some weird duress. A half sandwich may be saved or shared, but a hot dog is a unity.

Listen to the above clip from The Sporkful, in which I dismantle Judge Hodgman’s verdict piece-by-piece. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. And check out next week’s whole show on hot dogs for much more.

Where do you stand? Are hot dogs sandwiches?

June 17, 2014

Tom Ryan invented the Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizza, as well as McDonald’s McGriddle. We talk to the culinary mad scientist about how he came up with these innovations – and how to best enjoy them.

June 3, 2014

Baseball season is in full swing and if someone takes you out to a ball game, you’ll likely ask them to buy you some peanuts and Cracker Jack. Before you place your order, you should know what you’re in for. 

May 23, 2014

Food festivals can confer great rewards, but they also come with great peril. Choices abound — but stomach space is limited.

Craft a plan, execute it well, and you’ll feel like the ruler of all you survey. Go in looking for Weapons of Mass Deliciousness with too many unknown unknowns and you could easily find yourself in a quagmire.

I address this issue in depth in my forthcoming book, Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious, where I warn of the bad decisions one may make when shrouded in the Food Festival Fog of War. (Hint: Look to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War for guidance.)

Here are some tips based on my years of research and scholarship:

Brussels sprouts from Tso Fried Chicken at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.

Brussels sprouts from Tso Fried Chicken at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.

1. Do research before you go.

You’re reading this article, so that’s a good start. But you want to know details about the particular festival in question. When does it open? What foods will be available? What’s the layout? Where are bottlenecks likely to form? To quote Sun Tzu, “The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand.”

Margarita pizza from Pizza Moto at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Margarita pizza from Pizza Moto at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

2. Arrive early.

Get there the minute the gates open, when lines are short and supplies at the stands are plentiful.

Masala dosa from Dosa Royale at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Masala dosa from Dosa Royale at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

3. Survey all the options before you start spending money.

The first rule of good buffet strategy applies here as well — survey the scene! As Sun Tzu writes, “He wins his battles by making no mistakes.”

Maple bacon sticks from Landhaus at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Maple bacon sticks from Landhaus at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

4. Gather intelligence from other Eaters.

See something on someone’s plate that looks good? Find out where it’s from and whether it tastes as good as it looks.

Lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg

Lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.

5. Understand line pacing.

Is the food at a stand pre-made or made-to-order? The answer will have a big impact on how fast the line moves.

Ramen burger from Ramen Burger at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.

Ramen burger from Ramen Burger at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg.

6. Monitor line lengths at popular stands.

When one shortens, strike decisively. Like Sun Tzu says, “If [your opponent] is taking his ease, give him no rest.”

Cheong Fun noodles from Noodle Lane at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Cheong Fun noodles from Noodle Lane at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

7. Come prepared.

Bringing your own water in a reusable bottle is better for the environment and your bottom line. Bring plastic containers to wrap up leftovers or get a whole second meal to go. Even bring a baking sheet so you can get food at several stands, then carry it all back to your table (hat tip to pastry chef Emily Konn).

Vietnamese "Summer Rolls" from Best Summer at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Vietnamese “Summer Rolls” from Best Summer at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

8. Use the buddy system.

You and your buddy pick two foods you both want to try. Split up, each get one, and meet back at a predetermined location. For best results, try to pick two stands with lines that are roughly the same length.

May 20, 2014

At the World’s Fair of 1964-65, MariePaule Vermersch and her family, Belgian immigrants to America, served Belgian waffles to eager eaters who were delighted by the taste and novelty of the hand-held waffle.

MariePaule and Steve Lipschutz, general manager of Wafels and Dinges in New York, join Dan to talk about MariePaule’s role in American food history and Steve’s attempt to return the Belgian waffle to its rightful place.

If you like this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.

May 6, 2014

Her milkshake might bring all the boys to the yard, but these days, the songwriter-chef is using dairy products for more than just innuendos. She talks about the differences between making an album and making a meal, and why she compares herself to a cast iron skillet. Plus, listen to Kelis’ in studio performance in its entirety on Soundcheck.

If you like this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.

April 8, 2014

Matzoh isn’t just for Jews, and it isn’t just for Passover. It’s a delicious, plain cracker that’s ideal for all people all year round! In a quest to better understand and appreciate matzoh, Dan travels to the Manischewitz factory in Newark, NJ, to interview a Southern Baptist matzoh expert named Randall Copeland and Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz, who is an expert on kosher law.

March 25, 2014

Think broccoli is boring? Chef Tyler Kord makes a broccoli sub, double-decker broccoli tacos, and fried broccoli, and they’re all amazing. He says a ham and cheese sandwich isn’t complete without broccoli. He even wrote a whole cookbook about broccoli.

March 11, 2014

In this very special episode of The Sporkful, Dan sits down with the one and only “Weird Al” Yankovic, the man behind “Eat It,” “Fat,” “My Balogna,” and so many other classic food-related parody songs.

February 25, 2014

Like so many people, Dan was scarred by tequila at a young age, and hasn’t been able to drink it for years. But maybe, with some help, he can overcome his aversion and learn to appreciate good tequila. Lending a hand is Ilana Edelstein, author of The Patron Way: The Untold Inside Story of the World’s Most Successful Tequila.

February 11, 2014

It’s all fun, food, and wacky facts, when the one and only Peter Sagal of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! joins Dan for a wide-ranging conversation on many of the most pressing issues of the day. Peter talks about growing up as a fat kid, what he eats after a 20 mile run, his opinions on Chicago pizza, grilling the perfect burger, and spaghetti consumption techniques, among many other topics.

January 14, 2014

From debating the merits of muffin tops, to discussing the secrets of muffin grilling to bemoaning the cake-ification of muffins, it’s all things muffindom when Dan sits down with the great Julia Turner from the Slate Culture Gabfest. Plus, a quiz on the official muffins of various U.S. states, and a caller who needs serious help reheating a leftover meatball sub.

If you like this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.

December 31, 2013

“I want to believe that there are perfect things in life. The perfect relationship, the perfect song, or the perfect day. And the perfect wing. I think it’s out there.” So says Matt Reynolds at the start of The Great Chicken Wing Hunt, a new documentary comedy in which he leaves his life as an American expat in Slovakia to return to his native western New York in search of the perfect Buffalo wing. This podcast gets deep, and that’s even before Dan and Matt start eating wings together. 

November 19, 2013

On Thanksgiving we’re all competitive eaters, so who better to talk to than Tim “Eater X” Janus, the #2 competitive eater in the world? Yes, the annual Sporkful Thanksgiving show is here, and it’s a doozy.

November 5, 2013

Is it better to have one big piece of fish or several smaller ones? What’s the ideal batter-to-fish ratio? And is even the fish better when eaten with your hands?

Slate’s June Thomas hails from northern England. She joins Dan at Brooklyn’s Chip Shop to answer these questions, and to reminisce about the magical pan of lard that was so integral to her childhood. She also introduces Dan to mushy peas.

If you like this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.

October 22, 2013

“Rev” David Ciancio has chronicled his consumption of nearly 600 burgers for his blog, Burger Conquest, and that doesn’t even count those he’s eaten as a private citizen.

Rev joins Dan for a fast-paced and passionate conversation that covers fat-to-lean ratios, burger-to-bun ratios, perfect patty formation, the difference between sliders and mini burgers, burger bite consistency vs. bite variety, additions and fillings, going beyond beef, cheese on the bottom, and what having a father in the FBI taught Rev about restaurant seating. And so much more.

Plus, Matt in Chicago calls in to press for new legislation to require ice cream purveyors to put a half-scoop of ice cream into a flat-bottomed cone before putting a whole scoop on top. Listen and share!

If you like this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.