Dan Pashman is a picky eater — but not in the usual way.
Pashman, creator of food podcast the Sporkful, will eat almost anything — but only after he has rearranged it all.
“I always put a lot of thought into the most basic details of the eating experience,” said Pashman, whose show has run on WNYC since last year. “My friends who have known me for a long time know that I will always start rebuilding any sandwich and rearranging it. They cannot believe I turned this into a job.”
Now, Pashman has written a whole book dedicated to his meal improvements, which he will bring to BookCourt in Cobble Hill on Oct. 22. In “Eat More Better,” Pashman analyzes the intricacies of every ingredient — the amount of sauce that various types of pasta will hold, the proper way to layer a sandwich to prevent slippage, the ideal way to pour milk into cereal — in an effort to make common meals even tastier through math and science.
Many of Pashman’s recommendations sound absurd at first — until you understand the logic behind them. For instance, he argues that grilled cheese should be served vertically on its end — so it looks like a mountain — instead of laying flat on a plate. It looks weird, but helps prevent avoid soggy bread, which is caused by condensation created when the hot sandwich touches the cold dish. Pashman also advocates eating cupcakes upside down, because you taste the frosting more when it is closer to your tongue.
“A lot of this is looking at very simple and universal foods in a new way,” said Pashman. “Since people have seen these foods so many times before, they think there is no other way to think about them. But I see it as a challenge.”
The thick, hardcover book is arranged like a high-school science textbook, with diagrams, pull-out sections, and fun facts.
“I wanted to organize it in a way that was different from a cookbook, because it is not a cookbook,” said Pashman. “It struck me that this all feels very academic. I feel like there is a quirky kind of research I do whenever I eat.”
At the BookCourt event, Pashman plans to have Brooklyn Heights restaurant Jack the Horse Tavern on hand to serve up its macaroni and cheese, which he believes is the best in Brooklyn.
“It is creamy and just a little bit tangy, just as it should be,” he said. “And they use pasta with ridges, which is going to hold sauce better, and pasta is just a cheese delivery system anyway.”
Dan Pashman reads from “Eat More Better” at BookCourt [163 Court St. between Pacific and Dean streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 875–3677, www.bookcourt.com] Oct. 22 at 7 pm. Free.