Stanley Tucci Shared This Sweet Family Memory

Proust may have made it famous, but who doesn't find themselves immediately flung into their past, clinging to nostalgia when some specific food comes into play? Actor, writer, and foodie Stanley Tucci is certainly no exception to the rule. 

While Tucci is known foremost as an actor, in more recent times, his attention has turned to the kitchen. The New York Times explains that years ago, Tucci found out he had a cancerous tumor growing on his tongue. After going through radiation sessions, he not only got ulcers in his mouth, but began losing his appetite. This was devastating for the actor, who was also worried he was going to lose his sense of taste. In fact, he posed this question to The Times: "I mean, if you can't eat and enjoy food, how are you going to enjoy everything else?"

Though Tucci has written cookbooks before, his CNN series "Searching for Italy" and his new memoir, "Taste: My Life Through Food," were actually attempts to return to normalcy and overcome the tragic events that saw him lose his taste for tasting. In the book, Tucci reminisces over everything from squirrel meat and ashamedly eating parts of a whale in Iceland, to recollecting the defunct Cuban-Chinese restaurants, all the way up to his recovery from cancer. But there's one specific dish that has stuck with him all his life.

Stanley Tucci remembers his grandmother's tomato sauce

In an except from his book, "Taste: My Life Through Food" (via LitHub), Stanley Tucci reminisces about his own version of Proust's madeleines, except his madeleines were tomato sauce. And who is going to tell this aficionado his grandmother's sauce wasn't anything but perfect. 

According to Tucci, his "maternal grandmother, Concetta," who hailed from Southern Italy, perfected every recipe she had. Tomato sauce, in particular. As he wrote in the book, "It was light and sweet and could be cooked with olive oil, sautéed garlic, and onions or doctored up any which way one chose. One or two long days of work for months of red gold."

This particular sauce is about as far as you can get from your typical pre-made tomato sauce from your local grocery store. In fact, the first step in the recipe was to make an actual fire: You wanna take a tub of water and put it over a grate on the fire, meanwhile filling a pillowcase with fresh tomatoes and squeeze them until you can't feel the tomatoes anymore, or as Tucci puts it, "making it look like a relic of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. Continue until all the tomatoes are gone or until you feel like Macbeth at the end of his play." From there, take all that tomato liquid and tunnel them into bottles or jars which you'll boil over the fire. From there, you apparently have to go store it in your grandfather's wine cellar.

Be it in cinema or the kitchen, who can say Stanley Tucci has anything but good taste?