5 Questions with Dan Pashman of The Sporkful podcast

Learn all about the James Beard nominated podcast, The Sporkful, from the creator and host himself, Dan Pashman.

1. What is The Sporkful podcast all about?

It’s a podcast where we discuss, debate and obsess over ridiculous food minutiae, in search of new and better ways to eat. I like to say “It’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters.” We cover topics like sandwich engineering, etiquette and ethics in nacho consumption, buffet strategy, and ideal surface-area-to-volume ratio of ice cubes. You know, the important stuff.

2. Tell us how you started doing the podcast.

I was tired of working on radio shows that were either very good or on their way to being very good, only to have them get canceled before they hit their stride. So I figured if I start my own show, at least the only person who can cancel me is ME. And four-and-a-half years later, I’m still not canceled.

3. As you know, people from different places have different ideas and customs when it comes to food. What is one of the most interesting differences you have come across?

I’m interested in the way, when a region becomes famous for a certain food, it’s both a blessing and a curse. It helps to publicize the food, so we learn about new foods from other places, and it’s a source of local pride for the regions that invent the foods. But it can also stifle innovation, because then the people in that region come to feel obligated to stick with the old way, while other regions feel free to take the concept to a new level. For instance, some people say the best Buffalo wings are now in Syracuse.

4. What projects are you working on now?

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Aside from The Sporkful podcast and my Cooking Channel web series You’re Eating It Wrong, my main focus is my forthcoming book, Offer: 145168973X Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious.

5. As you look back, what is your favorite Sporkful moment?

After 180+ episodes, I can’t pinpoint one moment. But my favorite moments are when listeners hear me talk in ridiculous detail about something like how to layer the peanut butter and jelly in a PB&J sandwich and they tell me, “I never knew I cared so much about that until you talked about it!” It’s fun when people learn to look at foods they eat all the time in a new and different way, and it’s exciting when they share their opinions and turn The Sporkful into a two-way conversation.

Published April 27th, 2014