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Aasif Mandvi Is A Human Turducken

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Nov 25, 2019
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A turducken is a deboned chicken stuffed, Russian nesting doll-style, inside a deboned duck that's packed within a whole turkey.

Actor, playwright, and author Aasif Mandvi grew up between three different cultures: Indian, British, and American. "I describe myself as a human turducken," he says. "I'm a little brown kid, wrapped inside a British schoolboy, wrapped inside an American adult."

Aasif Mandvi is best known for his time as a correspondent on the Daily Show. Nowadays you can see him on the CBS show Evil, and he recently came out with a hit podcast called Lost at the Smithsonian, where he gets up close and personal with the most iconic artifacts at the National Museum of American History.

Aasif was born in India but mostly raised in England. And he has vivid memories of steak & kidney pie (below), austere breakfasts at his British boarding school, and his mother's Gujarati home cooking.

But when he was 16, Aasif's family left England and moved to Florida. His father embraced everything about eating in America – from brunch to supermarkets to Big Gulps, but Aasif had reservations. "Everything in America was bigger and looked more tasty," he says. "The apples were six times larger than any apple in India, but then when you bit into it there was no flavor."

Listen in to the full episode to hear about the special T-shirts Aasif's father made for their family trips to IHOP, why Aasif wanted to hate iced tea (but couldn't), and what happened when the novelty of American food excess started to wear off.

Today’s sponsors:

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

  • "Hot Night" by Calvin Dashielle
  • "Give It Up" by Steve Sullivan
  • "Hip Hop Slidester" by Steve Pierson
  • "New Old" by James Thomas Bates

Photos: Adam Cantor (courtesy of Chronicle Books); FlickrCC/Esther Lin; FlickrCC/Mike Mozart; FlickrCC/Ian

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