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
2019-08-20 01:47
last episode published
2019-08-19 05:00
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

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...

Office Fridge Theft: What Would the Founding Fathers Do?

Your philosophy about how a communal fridge should be used says a lot about how you think society should function. This week, listeners share their opinions. Plus we hear stories of the crazy things people do to stop office fridge theft, and we talk wi...

Actor Ron Funches Lost 140 Pounds And Became A Leading Man

When actor and comic Ron Funches came on The Sporkful four years ago, his humor and warmth made him one of our most popular guests ever. Since then he's lost 140 pounds. This week, Ron returns to talk about how losing weight has changed the way people ...

Why Roy Wood Jr. Sees Pros To Bad Service And Confederate Flags

Comedian and Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. is known for his thoughtful and pointed takes on race. He joins us to discuss McRib conspiracy theories, the dangers of touring the south as a black comic, and the advantages of bad service and Confede...

Dan Savage Recommends A Polyeaterous Lifestyle

What should you cook for breakfast the morning after? How can couples share power in the kitchen without driving each other crazy? Ahead of Valentine's Day, we talk food and relationships with Dan Savage, who writes the sex advice column Savage Love an...

Kids’ Weird Food Creations

What are the craziest things parents do to get their picky eating kids to eat? Hillary Frank, creator of The Longest Shortest Time podcast and author of the new book, Weird Parenting Wins, shares some stories. Plus, kids call in to pitch Hillary and Da...

In Defense of Picky Eaters

Why do picky eaters face so much judgment? Is picky eating even actually a problem? We talk with two twins who grew up in a family of proud picky eaters, and an expert who treats picky eating kids, to find out. This is part one of a two-part series on ...

Is The Future Of Bourbon Female?

Bourbon's growing popularity is changing an industry with deep roots in Kentucky. We travel there to learn what that means for one of the oldest and one of the youngest bourbon masters. Today's sponsors: Go to and use promo code SPOR...

When Celery Was More Special Than Caviar

Celery was the hottest food trend in 18th century America. Why did it fall from grace? And can it ever make a comeback?Today's sponsor: Go to to start your free month.

New Year's Food Resolutions 2019

Sporkful listeners and Dan reveal what food they resolve to eat more of in the new year -- and why. Plus we replay one of our favorite episodes of 2018.Today's sponsors: Go to to explore their entire line of paleo-friendly ...

A Brief History Of Cereal And Milk

We explore the history of an iconic American food couple -- cereal and milk -- with help from NYT food correspondent Kim Severson and author Mark Kurlansky.Today's sponsors: Go to to explore recipes and get your favorite mu...

A Brief History Of American Barbecue

We follow barbecue from West Africa to the American South to the south side of Chicago, with help from culinary historian Michael Twitty and a pitmaster in Chicago.Today's sponsors: Go to to buy your own gluten-free Egg Rep...

This Puerto Rican Drink Puts The Feliz In Your Navidad

We learn about the holiday drink that’s the centerpiece of Puerto Rican Christmas celebrations, and we hear how Hurricane Maria changed Christmas for one Puerto Rican family.Today's sponsors: Go to to get $1 off gluten-free...

Carla Hall Isn't Going Back To The Frozen Food Section

When the chef and star of The Chew and Top Chef started her career, she turned her back on the food she grew up with. Her journey back included false starts, U-turns, and a mail truck full of sandwiches. And it's led her to write a cookbook that's unli...

Feasting In A War Zone

The military is not known as a place to find a good meal. But our men and women in uniform are trained to overcome any obstacle. This week, as many service members spend Thanksgiving far from home, we bring you their stories of memorable meals on the f...

Ask Mimi: Relax And Keep Eating

In the fourth and final part of our special series Ask Mimi, legendary food critic Mimi Sheraton shares her thoughts on the etiquette of free food samples, ballpark eating, and how ice cream should be scooped. Then comedian Ophira Eisenberg, host of NP...

The Couple That Cooks Together...

Emily and Patrick are past the honeymoon phase. Now they have to learn to work together, if they're going to be together for the long haul. They get advice from Dan and food writer Nicole Taylor, who returns to ride shotgun, face The Lightning Round, a...

Why Cows Wear Fitbits

In this special bonus episode, Dan talks to a dairy farmer about why cows wear fit bits and the best way to drink a glass of milk. This entire episode is sponsored by Undeniably Dairy. To hear more stories about dairy farmers, visit