- Stanley Tucci said it was “terrible” to eat his friends’ attempts at homemade Italian cuisine.
- Speaking on the River Cafe Table 4 podcast, Tucci recalled not liking friends’ Italian food.
- 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 cooked Italian food at home, he thought it was “awful”.
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 podcast “River Cafe Table 4”, in Tuesday’s episode.
Tucci, who told Rogers that his grandparents both emigrated to the United States from Calabria, Italy, when they were young, recalled eating his American friends’ attempts at homemade Italian dishes and not enjoying their interpretation of the cuisine.
“When I went to friends’ house and ate what they thought was Italian food, it was awful,” he told Rogers. Tucci added that the food was bad “because the ingredients were lousy and they didn’t really get it”.
Referring to Italian-American food as a whole, he said there is a tendency towards excess in recipes. “A lot of this Italian-American food came from 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 about, you know, it was a land of plenty. And I also think they catered to American tastes,” he told Rogers.
Tucci’s “Searching for Italy” shows him traveling through Italy and regions in other countries with a large Italian presence to understand their local cuisine and connect with his heritage.
In the show’s first season, Tucci explored dishes like cacio e pepe, a cheese and pepper dish from Rome, and spaghetti alla nerano, a zucchini dish, featured in the episode about Naples and the Amalfi Coast. The dishes, when authentically prepared, are notoriously simple and require very few ingredients.