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Calls: Life Without Menus, Engineering A Better Jelly Donut, And Storing Peanuts In Your Cheeks

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Feb 02, 2015

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player and subscribe in iTunes.

You and me, Eaters -- we're a special breed.

This week on The Sporkful, we're celebrating some of the many unique ways we try to make our food more delicious. To see just how weird The Sporkful community really is, we opened up the phone lines to take calls from listeners with quirky eating habits.

Cari in Indianapolis loves food, but huge buffets are her worst nightmare because she can't deal with foods touching on her plate.

Ira in Colorado stores sweet and savory foods on different sides of his mouth, sucking the salt off peanuts before eating them.

Adam in Los Angeles refuses to look at menus before ordering in restaurants. He just orders whatever the person to his right is having.

And Larry in New York is on a mission to re-engineer the jelly donut.

But, eaters, if we’re all weird -- doesn’t that make us normal? Think about it.

JellyDonut

First up, Larry calls in from New York with a serious jelly donut problem. The classic, round jelly donut fails to achieve acceptable jelly-to-donut ratios. Instead, the donut perimeter is devoid of jelly, while the donut's epicenter is a messy, overpowering fruit blob.

I recommend the square jelly donut from Doughnut Plant (pictured at the top of this post), but that doesn't fix the classic jelly donut. So together we devise a new alternative: "the tear-and-dip method," which Larry bravely tests. Listen in for the results of Larry's jelly donut trials.

Cari in Indianapolis is waging a battle against the dark forces of "culinary real estate" that seek to improperly blend different foods on her plate.

"I have long had a problem with food touching on my plate," she says. "When I go to buffets I have to get multiple plates and go up tons of different times because I just can't stand it when the food touches and the flavors mingle together. I truly cringe.”

There are exceptions to Cari's Doctrine of Discrete Dining: stir-fry, mashed potatoes with gravy, tacos, and even Peking duck. But not even a small army of Indian thalis (shown below) can save Cari from a troubling new food trend: putting eggs on top of everything.

thali

Meanwhile, Ira in Colorado also has a long-established eating habit to share with us. Since childhood, he has eaten shelled peanuts and other small nuts by storing them in one side of his mouth until the salt has been absorbed and the nuts have softened.

“Sometimes I’ll do this with cherries also," he says. "I’ll store the pits on the left side and the cherries on the right side. Then I have to be careful not to swallow pits."

And Adam from Los Angeles tries to sell me on his strategy for eating in restaurants: ordering whatever the person sitting on his right (or ahead of him in line) selects from the menu. Adam argues that eschewing menus and learning from other eaters helps him explore new foods.

“I have eaten things that I would never otherwise eat,” he says. "On the other hand, it could just be that I’m extraordinarily lazy.”

If you have a food debate to settle or an eating innovation that the rest of us weirdos should know about, email me at dan [at] sporkful [dot] com or leave a message on our hotline: 908-9-SPORK-9.

And here's how to make your inbox more delicious! Sign up for The Sporkful newsletter by noon (EST) on February 20, 2015 and you'll be automatically entered to win a free copy of Dan's book, Eat More Better. If you're already on the list, you're already entered!

Interstitial music in this episode by BWN Music:

- "Horn In The City" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "Hip Hop Slidester" by Steve Pierson

- "Bunyan's Bunion" by Cullen Fitzpatrick

- "Brotherly Love" by Cullen Fitzpatrick

Photos: Flickr CC Garrett Ziegler and bionicgrrl and stan_goa

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