Read Stanley Tucci’s memoir, Taste !

Actors? Mostly I can take ’em or leave ’em.

But there are a few actors I find memorable, and Stanley Tucci is one of them. I knew him originally from The Big Night and Julie and Julia, and more recently from his wonderful Searching for Italy series (on CNN of all places).

Taste: My Life Through Food is a spirited memoir that you will want to gobble up. Although it does include a few memorable descriptions of Tucci’s acting experiences, the book is mostly about food. And family. And did I mention food? Now if you didn’t know that Tucci is Italian, you might start wondering whether he’s also Jewish. But he isn’t—he’s Catholic, more or less (mostly less). Nevertheless, the emphasis on food and family brings up so many implicit connections between Italian and Jewish cultures. Maybe that’s why Italy has always been my favorite country to visit (or maybe that’s due to my lifelong interest in the ancient world—who knows?).

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of recipes scattered throughout Taste, whenever there’s a narrative reason for including one. Tucci even includes his recipe for timpano, a.k.a. timballo, made famous in The Big Night. And he writes a lot about restaurants, too many of them sadly (but unsurprisingly) no longer in business.

Like most memoirs, this isn’t intended to be a complete autobiography. It’s just an entertaining, seemingly effortlessly written story of the life of an Italian-American. And of food. Did I mention food?

Categories: Books, Food & Restaurants