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Calls: Can You Love A Picky Eater?

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Jul 27, 2015

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

What would you do if you had to choose between the food you love and the person you love? This week on The Sporkful, I’m taking your calls about eating in relationships.

First up, Jen from Washington, D.C. calls in to get guidance on how to eat well while dating a picky eater.

Jen has an adventurous palate, but she’s struggling to find a partner who also loves to explore new foods. She and her former boyfriend “Felix” (not his real name) broke up after a year together when they couldn’t reconcile their very different eating preferences.

“[He] was the pickiest eater I’ve ever encountered. I love food -- food is glorious. And he ate to survive,” she says. “It was so frustrating to me when we were together. I don’t want to have the same dinner once every week.”


But Felix’s legacy still haunts Jen. And when her new boyfriend “Oscar” (not his real name) started showing signs of pickiness, she got worried.

Will Jen and “Oscar” be able to bridge their gastronomic divide -- or will food do them part? Listen in to the full episode to hear my advice for them.

Later in the show, I get a call from Barbara and Bruce in Illinois. They’ve been married for a decade and together much longer, but they’re struggling to settle a fundamental food debate: what’s the best way to eat a corn muffin?

Barbara tears her muffins vertically, creating a jagged surface that’s ideal for trapping butter.

“So there’s a piece of the nice crown and a piece of the bottom on each half,” she explains. “It’s got nooks and crannies for all the butter to melt into. It just tastes better that way.”

But Bruce prefers to use a knife to cut his muffins horizontally before buttering them:


“I think [Barbara’s method is] just a little overrated,” he argues. “With a nice smooth surface to put hot butter on, it melts right in and through the cornbread.”

And there’s another benefit, according to Bruce:

“When you try to tear [a corn muffin] apart, often it breaks. Cutting it in half keeps the pieces together so you don’t have little chunks around.”

There’s no easy answer to this clash of muffins and marriage.

Barbara’s right that nooks and crannies are advantageous. They increase the surface area-to-volume ratio of a muffin, thereby allowing a single muffin to absorb more butter.

But Bruce is also right -- jagged muffin edges can't absorb butter if they’re lying in a heap of crumbles on your plate.


Is there a corn muffin compromise that can save this blessed union? Listen in to the episode for the exciting conclusion to Bruce and Barbara’s debate.

Eaters, who do you side with? Take our poll (below):

Eaters, we need your burning culinary questions and urgent food debates for future Sporkful episodes! Please send me an email with your food-related questions, innovations, and debates: dan [at] sporkful [dot] com.

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

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Interstitial music in this episode by BWN Music:

- "Coffee and Sunshine" by Erick Anderson

- "Hip Hop Slidester" by Steve Pierson

- "Young And Free" by Cullen Fitzpatrick

Photos: FlickrCC/Emily Carlin; FlickrCC/Marufish; FlickrCC/CaroWallis; FlickrCC/Isa Sorensen; FlickrCC/Russ Garcia

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