Taste: My Life Through Food

Gallery. Oct. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781982168018. $28. COOKING
Actor Tucci waxes nostalgic in his new entry into the realm of culinary memoirs, following his new CBS show Searching for Italy and two cookbooks (The Tucci Cookbook; The Tucci Table). Tucci begins with a meandering reminiscence about his early years in Westchester County, New York, with vivid descriptions of his immigrant family’s Italian cooking, conveyed in an irreverent, conversational style. Later chapters delve into fare that Tucci was served by family, restauranteurs, and friends at home, on vacation, and on set—in Italy and beyond. Some anecdotes are conveyed in the form of scenes from a screenplay, adding a lively, humorous touch. Sprinkled throughout are a handful of family recipes for cocktails and memorable dishes (e.g., Spaghetti con Zucchine alla Nerano) of varying complexity and portion size. The book changes course when its focus shifts away from Tucci’s own personal experiences and instead begins discussing Italian culinary history and well-known chefs and personalities (including Julia Child, who needs no introduction). Overall, an entertaining glimpse into Tucci’s passion for cooking both with and for his friends and extended family.
VERDICT A no-brainer for fans of Tucci or those interested in food memoirs; this heartfelt account will also appeal to anyone interested in Italian home cooking.
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