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'Serial' parody on the food podcast The Sporkful uses Elkhart story

Elkhart is part of a mashup of two popular podcasts.

With more than 80 million downloads, the podcast “Serial” is ripe for parody. The plinking piano theme music is familiar. The vocal inflection Sarah Koenig and the story in the first season mystery put podcasts back on the cultural map.

Dan Pashman is host of “The Sporkful,” a food podcast produced by WNYC, a public radio station in New York City. The March 12 episode of the podcast featured a story from Heather Yun Coleman, told as if it were a Serial episode.

The episode “Serial Parody: Investigating An Office Fridge Food Theft” tells of Coleman putting leftovers in the refrigerator of a call center in Elkhart in 2001, only to have them stolen by a mystery coworker. There’s even a reference to a Schlotzky’s pizza and Elkhart would have had at least one of those restaurants at that time.

In an email, Pashman said, “Yes it really happened in Elkhart but I can’t tell you the name of the company where Heather worked, she asked that we keep that confidential. Glad you enjoyed the show!”

Unlike the original Serial, that ended with more mystery than most listeners wanted, the thief is named and the case is closed.

If you want to listen to the parody centered on an Elkhart story, you can listen here:

You can also read more at the episode page.

The show does not air locally, but is available through iTunes or other podcast players for free.

Marshall V. King is food columnist for Flavor 574 and community editor for The Elkhart Truth. You can reach him at 574-296-5805,, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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