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The Sporkful

by 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.

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Episodes

The Enslaved Chefs At Monticello Who Created American Cuisine

31m · Published 03 Jul 09:55

This week in honor of July 4th, we’re exploring an important part of American history – the contributions of enslaved Black chefs, whose work influences American cuisine to this day. In 1784, Thomas Jefferson brought the enslaved chef James Hemings, brother of Sally Hemings, with him to France to train under the French culinary masters of the day. Hemings created a cuisine that was half French, half Virginian, and brought it back to Jefferson's plantation, Monticello. This week, Dan tours the kitchens at Monticello with three descendants of enslaved Virginians: Michael Twitty, culinary historian and historical interpreter; Niya Bates, public historian of slavery and African American life at Monticello; and Gayle Jessup White, community engagement officer at Monticello.

This episode originally aired on October 21, 2019, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, and Ngofeen Mputubwele, with editing by Peter Clowney. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

The Food-Obsessed Subculture Of The Appalachian Trail

39m · Published 26 Jun 09:55

How do you feed yourself on a hike that’s more than 2,200 miles long and takes six months to complete? Every summer, hundreds of people attempting to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine, are faced with that question. This week senior producer Emma Morgenstern heads to Pine Grove General Store, the trail’s halfway point, and enters a world where most typical rules of eating seem not to apply. Hikers tell her about trash potatoes, ramen bombs, and a famous ice cream-eating challenge. Then we continue on the rest of the journey with Cricket, a hiker from Ohio. When things get tough, Cricket has to rethink her approach to food.

This episode contains some discussion of disordered eating.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Zarna Garg Had To Tell Jokes For Her Supper

31m · Published 19 Jun 09:55

The stand-up comedian Zarna Garg spent 16 years as a stay-at-home mom. Now she sells out shows across the country and has her own special on Prime Video. In her stand-up and her social media videos, food is often a main character. But Zarna has mixed feelings when it comes to cooking. As a teenager, she wasn’t always sure where her next meal would come from. And as a parent, she came to resent the burden of feeding her family of five. She talks with Dan about her frustration with American parenting, why her kids eat steamed broccoli for breakfast, and how Indian Americans fought to bring back Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell, with production on this episode by Grace Rubin.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Inside The World Of Food Smuggling

34m · Published 12 Jun 09:55

Remember that time you bought an apple in Canada or a piece of cheese in France and “forgot” to declare it when you crossed the border into the U.S.? That makes you a food smuggler. It can feel pretty innocent, but sometimes, food smuggling can have big consequences. On today’s show, we talk with a small-time haggis smuggler in Toronto, learn about the Mexican bologna racket, and meet a contraband-sniffing beagle at JFK Airport.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

After A Lifetime Of Eating, Gail Simmons Is Still Hungry

31m · Published 05 Jun 14:04

Top Chef judge Gail Simmons never thought she’d have a career in food. Sure, her mom ran a cooking school in their home growing up. Yes, she worked in the kitchen on a kibbutz in Israel. And it’s true, she wrote restaurant reviews for her college paper. But was food really what she wanted to do? It turns out: yes. Once Gail snagged a job on that as-yet-unknown reality TV cooking competition, she never looked back. Now, ahead of the Top Chef season 20 finale, Gail talks with Dan about how she’s become a better judge on the show while letting go of judgment in other parts of her life.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Jared O'Connell, and Nora Ritchie, with production on this episode by Abigail Keel.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

The Secret To Grace Church’s Lobster Rolls

31m · Published 29 May 09:55

In the 1980s, 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. This week, one of those people is Dan. He travels to Martha’s Vineyard to uncover Grace Church's secret recipe. Plus, Daniel Gritzer from Serious Eats breaks down the science of why frozen lobster might be better than fresh.

On Saturday, June 3, Dan will be moderating a panel at a food festival on Martha’s Vineyard called Martha’s Vineyard Flavors. It’s a weekend of talks, demonstrations, and delicious meals. You can buy tickets to part of the event or the whole thing here.

This episode originally aired on June 17, 2019, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, and Ngofeen Mputubwele, with editing by Peter Clowney. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Jared O'Connell, and Nora Ritchie.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Comic Jamie Loftus’s Hot Dog Summer

34m · Published 22 May 09:55

Comedian and podcaster Jamie Loftus set out on a cross-country road trip to try to figure out: Why do hot dogs have such a hold on American culture? And why does she continue to find them so damn delicious? Over the course of her Hot Dog Summer, she tried all kinds of regional American dogs, from a bacon-wrapped Sonoran dog in Tucson, to a bologna-wrapped dog in Baltimore, to one that involved SpaghettiOs. She also visited the famed Nathan’s 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, where she learned there was a darker story behind the celebrated ritual. The trip changed the way she thought about hot dogs — but also how she felt about America and herself. Jamie’s new book is Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Is Protecting Abalone Also Destroying A Native Tradition?

35m · Published 15 May 09:55

When the California government stepped in to try and prevent abalone from going extinct, it also criminalized the food traditions of indigenous people in the region. In this episode from our friends at the podcast Copper and Heat, we look into the history of this now luxury ingredient — a tale that involves San Francisco bohemians, Japanese fishermen, and a Pomo-Paiute woman who has risked jail time and fines in order to keep these food traditions alive.

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

The Musical History Of Jelly

35m · Published 08 May 09:55

This week we're exploring the musical history of jelly, from the Harlem Renaissance to Beyoncé and beyond. Along the way, we hear the story of a famous moment in internet history, explore depictions of Black women in music, and learn how jelly became an affirmation for LGBTQIA+ identity. And then, for our grand finale, we write an original song about JELLY!

This episode originally aired on August 12, 2019, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, and Ngofeen Mputubwele, with editing by Peter Clowney. Original music by the Reverend John DeLore and Allison Leyton-Brown. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Jared O'Connell, and Nora Ritchie.

Info and tickets available here for Dan’s appearance at Martha’s Vineyard Flavors.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

Can ChatGPT Write An Episode Of The Sporkful?

32m · Published 01 May 09:55

ChatGPT can use artificial intelligence to generate high school essays, emails, cover letters, and a lot more. But can it write an episode of The Sporkful? Eater senior reporter Bettina Makalintal joins us to discuss, and to tell us what happened when she asked ChatGPT to write a “stinky lunchbox immigrant memoir.” Do the results reveal something about the way immigrants and food are represented in media today? And what does all this mean for creativity in food and beyond?

Bettina’s story for Eater is called “Great! AI Can Generate All the Diaspora Food Writing Tropes.”

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, and Jared O'Connell.

Transcript available at www.sporkful.com.

The Sporkful has 104 episodes in total of non- explicit content. Total playtime is 57:37:41. The language of the podcast is English. This podcast has been added on February 22nd 2023. It might contain more episodes than the ones shown here. It was last updated on February 20th, 2024 03:13.

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