The Sporkful

Dan Pashman and Stitcher

We obsess about food to learn more about people. The Sporkful isn't for foodies, it's for eaters. Hosted by Dan Pashman, who's also the inventor of the new pasta shape cascatelli. James Beard and Webby Award winner for Best Food Podcast. A Stitcher Production. read less

Our Editor's Take

The Sporkful podcast is an ongoing conversation about food and eating. What can listeners expect from this podcast? They won't get a series about fancy chefs or Michelin star restaurants. They also won't receive any cooking tips or tricks for healthy eating. Instead, every episode guides listeners on a newer approach to food. Host Dan Pashman uses food to initiate thoughtful conversations about complicated issues. He layers discussions on science, history, culture, and race with humor and compassion. Pashman founded this show in 2010. This podcast is also a public radio program.

Pashman and guests tell food stories from across the globe on The Sporkful podcast. This program answers big questions. For example, do potato chips that crunch louder taste better? Food TV stars Padma Lakshmi and Guy Fieri get involved in entertaining discussions. Other food-related celebrities appear. Pashman visits a restaurant in rural Tennessee to meet a preacher at a local church who happens to be a BBQ pitmaster. Once, the host even spent two years searching for a beloved sandwich shop in Syria.

The Sporkful podcast title indicates the playful nature of this program. A spork is a combination of a spoon and fork. Fast food restaurants hand out the utensil because it is so practical. So it is a fitting name for the podcast. Host Pashman has a natural talent for storytelling. He keeps listeners engaged in each episode. That's because he understands how much there is to learn about people and cultures through food. New episodes for the show come out each week.

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Episodes

Reheat: LeVar Burton Even Reads Recipes Dramatically
6d ago
Reheat: LeVar Burton Even Reads Recipes Dramatically
You may think you know LeVar Burton. After starring in the seminal 1977 mini-series Roots, he hosted Reading Rainbow and starred alongside Sir Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: The Next Generation. These days he hosts the podcasts LeVar Burton Reads, in which he reads his favorite short fiction, and Sound Detectives, for kids who want to explore the magic and mystery of sound. But did you know that, as a teenager, LeVar bought steaks and lobsters that “fell off the back of a truck” and brought them home to his mom? Or that he’s very particular about his PB&J sandwiches? In this episode, LeVar dishes on Sir Patrick Stewart’s weird lunches on the Star Trek set and shares his favorite children's books about food. And as proof that he can make anything he reads sound amazing, LeVar favors us with dramatic readings of recipes.This episode originally aired on September 11, 2017 and November 30, 2020, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, with editing by Dan Charles and engineering help from Jared O’Connell. The Sporkful team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell.Every other Friday, we reach into our deep freezer and reheat an episode to serve up to you. We're calling these our Reheats. If you have a show you want reheated, send us an email or voice memo at hello@sporkful.com, and include your name, your location, which episode, and why.Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.
Anything’s Pastable 4 | A Cookbook Is Born
Mar 18 2024
Anything’s Pastable 4 | A Cookbook Is Born
In the final episode of “Anything’s Pastable,” the recipes are done — but they’re all in Google Docs. Now Dan has to bring them together into an actual book, with a cohesive visual style. So he hires an art director who scours flea markets for just the right props to bring the book’s personality to life. Then Dan heads to the Bay Area for the photo shoot, which means cooking nearly every recipe from the book one last time. When he has to pick the most important photo of all — the cover — the pressure is on. Will his publisher, and his family, judge his book by it?Anything’s Pastable the cookbook is on sale tomorrow, March 19, but you can order it today (including signed copies), and see if Dan’s visiting a city near you on his tour of book signings and live podcast tapings with special guests! Follow Dan on Instagram to see photos and videos from the Anything’s Pastable journey. And if listening to this episode makes you want to go to Italy, now’s your chance! Dan has teamed up with Culinary Backstreets to create a tour that will take you to many of the same places, with many of the same people. Tour Rome with Katie Parla, take a cooking class in Lecce with Silvestro Silvestori, and eat pasta in Bari with Dan!The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell, with editing by Tracey Samuelson and Tomeka Weatherspoon. Original theme music by Andrea Kristinsdottir.Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.
Anything’s Pastable 2 | Eat Sauté Love
Mar 4 2024
Anything’s Pastable 2 | Eat Sauté Love
In part two of “Anything’s Pastable,” Dan embarks on an epic trip across Italy in search of lesser-known pasta dishes — and to learn about the evolution of pasta more broadly. He starts in Rome, where food writer Katie Parla reveals a shocking truth about pasta. Then an Italian food historian challenges Dan’s thinking about carbonara. Finally, he heads south to meet a chef who was there when a regional specialty called spaghetti all’assassina (“assassin’s spaghetti”) was invented. All of this leads Dan to wonder: What does evolution look like in a food culture that’s so often depicted in sepia tones? And what’s his place in that process?Preorder Dan’s cookbook today (including signed copies), and see if he’s visiting a city near you on his tour of book signings and live podcast tapings with special guests! Follow Dan on Instagram to see photos and videos from the Anything’s Pastable journey. And if listening to this episode makes you want to go to Italy, now’s your chance! Dan has teamed up with Culinary Backstreets to create a tour that will take you to many of the same places, with many of the same people. Tour Rome with Katie Parla, take a cooking class in Lecce with Silvestro Silvestori, and eat pasta in Bari with Dan!The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell, with editing by Tracey Samuelson, Tomeka Weatherspoon, and Julia Russo. Special thanks to Katie Parla. Original theme music by Andrea Kristinsdottir.Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.
Anything’s Pastable 1 | Every Grain Of Salt
Mar 4 2024
Anything’s Pastable 1 | Every Grain Of Salt
After Dan’s pasta shape, cascatelli, went viral, people everywhere were cooking with it and sending him photos of what they were making. As exciting as that was, he was disappointed that most folks were only making a handful of well-worn dishes with this new shape. So Dan decided to write a cookbook to show the world that there’s so much more you can and should be putting on all your pasta shapes, cascatelli and beyond! There’s only one problem: he’s never written a recipe in his life. In this four-part series, Dan shares the inside story of creating his first cookbook, Anything’s Pastable — from the highs and lows of recipe testing, to a research trip across Italy, to the agonizing decisions over the design of the cover. By the end, you'll never look at a cookbook the same way again.Preorder Dan’s cookbook today (including signed copies), and see if he’s visiting a city near you on his tour of book signings and live podcast tapings with special guests. And follow Dan on Instagram to see photos and videos from the Anything’s Pastable journey!This is Episode 1 of Anything’s Pastable, and Episode 2 is available in your feed right now! The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell, with editing by Tracey Samuelson, Tomeka Weatherspoon, and Julia Russo. Original theme music by Andrea Kristinsdottir.Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.