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A Yummy Book - Taste: My Life Through Food By Stanley Tucci



Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction

Published 2021; 291 pages


A blogger was raving about this book and how well Tucci narrates it (sorry, I didn't write down who gave the recommendation). I just happened to be ready for a new commute 'read', and my library's copy was available, so it was immediate gratification.


THE PLOT

Tucci tells his story in a fairly straightforward, linear way. He starts with his childhood memories in New York and how much of it revolves around food and meals. He remembers his parents, particularly his mom and her cooking. He talks about his early struggle to be an actor, his first marriage and their four children. He reminisces about favorite restaurants from the early days (many of which are gone) to recent days as well as chefs he's known and what it is about their food that he loves.


There is some famous name dropping in the book, but it's far from excessive. He does devote a chunk of the book to the catered food on movie sets and he reviews which movies and locales had the best and worst food. He also talks about his family, having his older kids from his first marriage (his wife died of cancer), his two young children with his second wife, Felicity Blunt, all living together when the Covid lockdown occurred - some humorous situations there.

His love of well prepared Italian food is evident and the book is filled with plenty of his favorite recipes from simple pasta even I could make, to more elaborate meals. This is the one place where listening isn't good enough and it would be nice to have the actual book to read through (and copy down) the recipes. But, I'm not much of a cook so wouldn't attempt any of them anyway - but lots of people will; they all sound delicious. OH, AND I shouldn't forget, he also shares his favorite drink recipes, if you're looking for a new cocktail idea.


As many of you may know, Tucci also has a documentary on PBS, Searching for Italy, where he again shares his love of Italian food and the differences of food from different regions of the country. He clearly wants to share his heritage, his love of Italian cuisine, and encourage us all to discover the delights of a good Italian meal.


MY THOUGHTS

I should mention, I am NOT a foodie and actually have little interest in cooking. And yet, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the engaging Stanley Tucci narrate his own story which made it SO interesting and believable (it's a memoir after all). His dry humor and ease of reading his own story made for a really easy listening experience. He's charming, entertaining, and so very easy to listen to.


I found it so interesting how food can connect so many memories and evoke so many strong memories. Food is a powerful connection and following that thread through the book was rewarding.


The book ends with the revelation of his battle with cancer - he had a tumor at the base of his tongue. After an aggressive course of treatment, he's recovering well, but the descriptions of the chemo sickness and the loss of taste, etc. is fairly graphic if that's a trigger for you.


This book would be a great holiday gift for the cook in your family, or for a reader that likes celebrity memoirs, or someone who is just a Stanley Tucci fan.






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