Stanley Tucci said eating his friends’ attempts at homemade Italian cooking was “horrifying.”
Speaking on the “River Cafe Table 4” podcast, Tucci recalled disliking Italian food made by friends.
The actor and food show host said Italian-American food is too focused on having “access to more.”
Stanley Tucci said whenever his American friends would cook Italian food at home he’d find it “horrifying.”
The 61-year-old actor and host of CNN’s travel and food show, “Searching for Italy,” spoke with Ruthie Rogers, the host of the “River Cafe Table 4” podcast, on Tuesday’s episode.
Tucci, who told Rogers that his grandparents both emigrated to the US from Calabria, Italy, when they were young, recalled eating his American friends’ attempts at home-cooked Italian meals and not enjoying their interpretation of the cuisine.
“When I would go to friend’s houses and have what they thought was Italian food, it was horrifying,” he told Rogers. Tucci added that the food was bad “because the ingredients were lousy and they didn’t really understand it.”
Touching on Italian-American food as a whole, he said there’s a tendency for recipes to veer towards excess. “A lot of that Italian-American food came out of suddenly having access to large amounts of meat, having access to more, so more was added, right?” Tucci said, adding that Italians don’t typically put a lot of sauce in their pasta and opt for minimal recipes.
“Whereas in America, things are loaded with sauce, or loaded with cheese, or loaded with meat and it was about, you know, it was a land of plenty. And also I think they were, you know, catering to American tastes,” he told Rogers.
Tucci’s “Searching for Italy” shows him traveling around Italy, and regions in other countries with a large Italian presence, to understand their local cuisines and connect with his heritage.
In the first season of the show, Tucci examined dishes such as a cacio e pepe, a cheese and pepper dish local to Rome, and spaghetti alla Nerano, a zucchini dish featured in the episode exploring Naples and the Amalfi Coast. The dishes, when made authentically, are famously simple and require very few ingredients.
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