The Sporkful

We obsess about food to learn more about people. The Sporkful isn't for foodies, it's for eaters. Hosted by Dan Pashman from Cooking Channel's You're Eating It Wrong and the book Eat More Better. New episodes on Tuesdays, bonus shows whenever we can.WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex& Money, Freakonomics Radio and many others.

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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. New episodes on Tuesdays, bonus shows whenever we can.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-12-12 08:58
last episode published
2019-12-09 06:00
publication frequency
6.51 days
Dan Pashman and WNYC Studios author  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Society & Culture Food Arts



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Where All The Chefs Are Grandmas

A visit to a very exclusive holiday party... When Jody lost his grandmother, mom, and sister within a few years, he opened a restaurant to deal with the grief. But this place is very different from other Staten Island Italian joints. Today’s sponsors: ...

Live: You'll Never Find Vegan Dishes At My Restaurant

Angie Mar's book is “a giant ‘F you’ to every other cookbook"… When Chef Angie Mar threw a party recently to celebrate the release of her new book, people were drinking from mini champagne bottles with straws. Her favorite part was “watching my guests ...

Aasif Mandvi is a Human Turducken

The former Daily Show correspondent talks food and his triple identity: Indian, British, American… Aasif Manddvi isn't a fan of American food excess – except when it provides the perfect metaphor for his own tri-cultural upbringing. He talks about maki...

Live: You're Eating Gay Cheese

Virginia is for (wine and cheese) lovers... Can you make a good vegan cheese? What in the world is orange wine? We find out when Dan heads to the Fire, Flour, & Fork Festival in Richmond, VA, to talk with the craftspeople building the growing wine ...

A Forager's Life

A Forager’s LifeDan goes foraging!...Jay Marion is a master forager who lives in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. One chef says, “Jay can consistently find world-class ingredients just by going for a walk in the woods.” This week, Dan joins Jay for one of...

My Food History Wasn't Lost. It was Stolen.

Poet Tommy Pico tells the story of building his own indigenous food history from scratch... A few years ago, Tommy Pico, a queer indigenous American poet, and lover of junk food, set out to learn how to cook. But rather than turn to the past to find an...

Live: Is Sparkling Water Actually Water?

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 Soc...

2 | When Black Chefs Created Plantation Food

We visit one of America’s most famous plantations with three descendants of enslaved Virginians... In 1784, Thomas Jefferson brought the enslaved chef James Hemings, brother of Sally Hemings, with him to France, to train under the French culinary maste...

1. When White People Say Plantation

The word "plantation" pops up a lot in the food world – Plantation Mint Tea, Plantation Chicken, Plantation Rum. But it's not a culinary term. It doesn't indicate certain spices or cooking methods. So what are white people in food who use this word try...

Inside the Olympics of Bread Baking

To love making bread as much as Jeff Yankellow does, "you have to be crazy," he says. Jeff's official title at KinArthur Flour is Regional Sales Manager, but we like to think of him as the Chief Flour Nerd. He joins us this week to tell the story of th...

Claire Saffitz Teaches the Internet How to Bake

We go behind the scenes of one of the web's most beloved food shows, Gourmet Makes, with host Claire Saffitz of the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. In each episode Claire tries to figure out how to make an artisanal version of a classic junk food, using an a...

A New Apple is Born

This fall, there’s a new apple coming. It’s been 20 years in the making, and its launch will be the biggest in apple history. How was it invented? What makes it special? And will it live up to the hype? We hear the story behind this apple's conception ...

Is Sandwich Sexism Real?

In this special Sporkful investigation, we order sandwiches around New York City to find out whether places make smaller sandwiches for women.Today's sponsors: Go to today for more information. Go to for cleaning tips...

Can You Spot A Fake Chef?

This week, our entire episode is a game: Two Chefs And A Lie. The rules are simple. We call three purported chefs. Dan asks them five — and only five — questions each. And together, we try to separate fact from fiction. Can you decipher which of these ...

Why Food Is Like Fashion with Style Icon Simon Doonan

Simon Doonan has been called "the world's most famous window dresser," but he never wanted to be that stereotype of a fashion person, looking down his nose at everybody. He's always encouraged people to "dress like themselves." In other words, his appr...

Natasha Leggero And Moshe Kasher Save Dan's Marriage

Husband-and-wife comedians Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher give marital advice in their Netflix special and their podcast, The Endless Honeymoon. So this week they join us to help Dan and his wife Janie work out long-simmering arguments over hand soap...

Christopher Kimball Finds Pleasure In Pain

The founder of Milk Street hates celebrations and says pleasure is annoying. This week, Chris Kimball tells us why he thinks cooking is supposed to be hard, and how he got this way. Plus, he and Dan bond over their shared food obsessiveness and clash o...

Till Food Allergies Do We Part

After a tick bite, Amy Pearl developed a meat allergy called alpha-gal. (We shared her story in an episode a few years ago -- longtime listeners already know that she is one of the most hilarious people on the planet.) This week, Amy draws on her exper...

Jelly: A Musical Odyssey

From the Harlem Renaissance to Beyonce and beyond, we explore references to jelly in music that span decades and genres. Along the way, we hear the story of a famous moment in internet history, explore depictions of black women in music, and learn how ...

Live: Pigs In Blankets: One Woman's Journey

Mary Giuliani grew up as one of the few Italian kids in a mostly Jewish town, so she went to lots of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs – the Jewish rite of passage that comes at age 13. And at these parties, while the other kids were slow dancing awkwardly, Mary wa...

Live: Marcus Samuelsson: "Somebody Lied"

The TV host and chef behind Red Rooster Harlem was taught in culinary school that French cuisine is the gold standard of cooking. One day, he realized, "Somebody lied." In this week's show, taped live on stage at the Museum of the City Of New York, Mar...

Andy Richter Bought A Midlife Crisis Fridge

Conan O’Brien's sidekick tells us why he chose a really nice refrigerator over a sports car. And he talks about his lifelong struggles with his weight, saying, "When you feel bad, eating something that tastes good feels like you're fighting the feeling...

Live: Rapper Dessa Invented An Ice Cream

Singer, writer, and rapper Dessa talks about finding deliciousness while crossing the country in a tour van, including the story of the Wisconsin gas station that inspired the ice cream flavor she created, called Dessa's Existential Crunch. And she tel...

Bill Nye, Food Science Guy!

Bill Nye nerds out on PB&J, explains why he now supports GMOs, and answers our burning food science questions: Does mashing bananas actually make them sweeter? How long before there’s affordable lab-grown meat? Does adding salt to water make it boi...

Is It Rude To Add Salt At The Table?

After Rod served his wife Nellie the dinner he had prepared for them, Nellie took a taste. Then, she added more salt. Rod took offense. But should he have? Nellie and Rod call in to the show to discuss that question with Dan and a very special guest --...

Live: A Poem About A Chicken Shack

What can an iconic Chicago restaurant chain tell us about segregation and the Great Migration? Poet and South Side native Nate Marshall joins Dan live on stage in Chicago to dig deep on food and race in his home city, ponder what he and his girlfriend ...

This Is Your Brain On Cheesesteak

We run around Philly eating the city's most iconic foods, then bring samples to a scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center to learn why greasy treats like cheesesteak, Philly pork sandwiches, and scrapple are so good. (Hint: it has more to do wit...

A Restaurant Critic Changes the Rules

When Soleil Ho was hired as the restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle six months ago, she was hailed as a “young, queer woman of color who wants to redefine food criticism.” And she is. But to Soleil, “The most interesting part about me is ...

From Crushing Beers To Soft-Scrambling Eggs

Jason Jones got famous for his character on the Daily Show: a bro-ish, “man’s man” who went after liberal snowflakes. In real life, he's a guy who'll spend 45 minutes soft-scrambling eggs for his three kids. He got into cooking in part because of feeli...

The Secret At Grace Church

31 years ago, six women on an island off the coast of Massachusetts began selling lobster rolls as a church fundraiser. Today, people travel by car, boat, and plane just to taste these hallowed summer treats. And it's not just the Christian fold. "Don'...

The Holy Smoker

During the week Devin Pickard is the pitmaster at his family's BBQ restaurant in Centerville, Tennessee. But on Sundays he trades the pit for the pulpit at the local church where he preaches. This is the first in a two-part series on churches that are ...

Live: The Chef Who Hid Her Restaurant From Her Family

When Ann Kim became an actor, her immigrant parents disowned her. It was no different than “being a whore,” her mom said. When Ann ditched acting to open a pizza restaurant in Minneapolis, she knew better than to tell her folks about her new pipe-dream...

Am I F*cking Up My Kids? Food Edition.

Every parent fears they’ll f*ck up their kid. But what if there’s a hack, one tiny thing you can control? Maybe if you get their eating right, you’ll set up them up to succeed. Spoiler: there are no hacks. Sorry. And writer Carvell Wallace knows this v...

This Hot Dog Tastes Like Home

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. Today's sponsors: Go to peteandgerrys...

Live: The Design Genius Of The Club Sandwich

Designer Aaron Draplin has made logos for President Obama, Nike, and local food joints around Portland, OR. His taste in food, and his design sensibility, have a lot in common. He likes things that are straightforward, classic. Nothing fussy. In food, ...

Adam Conover Ruins Food

Since he was a kid, comedian Adam Conover has always had an intense desire to find the truth – and to tell everyone about it – whether or not they asked. He also has A LOT of opinions about food. In other words, Dan may have found his soul mate. Adam's...

Going Undercover With NY Times Restaurant Critic Pete Wells

NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells has been called the most read and most feared food writer in the US. He can make or break a restaurant with one review. How does he feel about wielding so much power? Has the job changed him, or his approach to foo...

Live: When Will Indian Food Be American?

In 1973, Madhur Jaffrey penned "An Invitation to Indian Cooking” and introduced many Americans to Indian cuisine. Over 45 years later, Priya Krishna defies the notion that Indian food is anything but American with her new cookbook, "Indian-ish: Recipes...

Comic Phoebe Robinson Stress Eats Vegetables

The comedian and podcast host tells us how to navigate a big meal in tight jeans, who should pay on a first date, and what it’s like to go out to eat when you’re in an interracial relationship.Today's sponsors: Go to to...

Should You Tip For Takeout?

By The Book co-hosts Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg join Dan to answer listener questions about tipping, who owns leftovers, and what to do with dinner guests who arrive very early.Today's sponsors: Go to VRBO in the app store to download the Vr...

Live: Danny Trejo, From Lockup to Donut Shop

Danny Trejo is a Hollywood legend. He's been in nearly 400 films, often playing the kinds of characters you wouldn't want meet in a dark alley. Now in his 70s, his career has taken a turn -- The L.A. native has become a successful restaurateur. This ne...

CBD: New Food Frontier Or Marketing Gimmick?

Business is booming in the world of CBD oil and cannabis-infused edibles. But are the science and technology keeping up? Dan investigates when he travels to Oregon, where recreational pot is legal, to meet a woman dubbed "the Martha Stewart of edibles"...

Comic Maria Bamford Risked Her Life For Ice Cream

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.Today's sponsors: Go to for delicious recipes and more. Go ...

Writer Kiese Laymon Wants to be Heavy

Disordered eating, anti-blackness, fat-phobia, and addiction all bubble together in Kiese Laymon's new book, "Heavy: An American Memoir." "As artists, we got to be able to talk about all of it at once because it always happens at once," he says. "Food ...


Yesterday's show was a satire. :) Please enjoy it as such!

Green Apple Bad Apple

When Dan hit 40, he noticed his body wasn't feeling as good. So recently, he embarked on a journey to change his lifestyle. Today, you'll meet the three people who've inspired him.Today's sponsors: Go to to learn more. Go to ICantBelieveIt...

A Soda Jerk And A Mormon Walk Into A Podcast

Ben Abbott wants to pair his meals with drinks, but as a Mormon, he doesn't drink alcohol. So Dan journeys to an offbeat soda shop in Los Angeles to find Ben some beverages. Plus, a linguist explains why some people say soda, coke, or pop.Today's spons...

Talkback! Why Hibachi is Complicated (Pt. 2)

Talkback! Why Hibachi is Complicated (Pt. 2)Last week, we talked hibachi and why it's complicated. This week, Dan takes your questions and discusses them, along with friends-of-the-show and cookbook authors Kenji López-Alt and Nicole Taylor. We cover c...

Why Hibachi is Complicated

The hibachi restaurant was created in America in 1964 by a savvy showman and Japanese immigrant named Rocky Aoki, who observed that "Americans enjoy eating in exotic surroundings, but are deeply mistrustful of exotic foods." This week, we see the skill...

The First Time I Ate My Feelings

Josie Long and Jonny Donahoe love food, but they've also struggled over the years with disordered eating. Last year they had a baby, which brings new opportunities for food joy, and stress. The comedians join Dan to talk about trying to share their pas...