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Eat Fish And Chips By Hand — But Not While Watching TV

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Jan 22, 2018

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. (And please subscribe!)

June Thomas (below) never eats with her hands when she's watching TV:

"I very much prefer a silverware meal for the evening viewing," she says. "You don't want to defile your remote [with dirty hands] because that's a very key item in the household."

JuneThomas_CreditHelen Melville-ADJUSTED

June has worked for many years as a TV critic, and she grew up eating in front of the tube in her native Manchester, UK:

"I've always eaten all of my meals in front of the television," she recalls. "In fact, I don't think we even had a dining table at home."

So it’s safe to say that June has had thousands of meals while watching TV. And she has a system:

"I've got my feet up, I've got my cat on my knee, I've got my remotes -- plural, I've got everything I'm going to eat," June tells Dan in this week's episode. "It's all lined up precariously on other pieces of furniture within reach. And then I don't really want to get up again."

BUT when it comes to fish and chips -- June always eats with her hands:

"That's why the batter is there," June argues. "It holds [the fish] together so that you can take it apart with your fingers."


This week on The Sporkful, Slate's June Thomas schools us in the art of eating while watching TV and the finer points of her beloved native dish, fish and chips.

What's the ideal ratio of batter to fish? Are all chips created equal? Listen in to the episode for the full conversation, taped live at Brooklyn's Chip Shop.

Plus, June tells us how to avoid distracted eating while viewing. (Hint: It's all about pairing your food with the right kind of entertainment.)

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. (And please subscribe!)

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Interstitial music in this episode from Black Label Music:

- "Stay For The Summer" by William Van De Crommert

- "Living Rox" by Nicholas Rod, Jack Ventimiglia, and Cullen Fitzpatrick

- "Cuttlefish Shooter" by Steve Pierson

- "New Old" by JT Bates

Photos: Helen Melville (courtesy of June Thomas), FlickrCC/John Atomic, and FlickrCC/Saaleha Bamjee

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