Pin It
Favorite

Garlic and Gratitude 

Tullia Barbanti’s new book looks back on 50 years of cooking in Spokane

click to enlarge Tulia Barbanti at work. - MIKE MCCALL
  • Mike McCall
  • Tulia Barbanti at work.

Tullia Barbanti came to America in 1958 with dreams of a rewarding career, a large home with eternally sparkling floors and an easier life than post-war Italy offered.

“Getting to Spokane was the easy part. Staying would pose the challenge of a lifetime,” Barbanti writes in her recently released book, Tomatoes Are My Tools.

For more than 50 years, Barbanti has been a beacon of Italian culture in Spokane, teaching Italian language and cooking classes, distributing her own brand of pasta sauce and publishing her first book, Al Dente, a collection of recipes passed down from her mother and grandmother.

Barbanti’s latest book isn’t a cookbook, although it does contain recipes for a traditional Italian dinner. The book is an expression of gratitude to Barbanti’s adopted homeland.

“I wanted to thank them (residents of Spokane) for respecting me, for treating me like a native person,” she says. “I am what I am because of the opportunities people gave me.”

Tomatoes Are My Tools tells the story of Barbanti’s life, focusing on the trials and triumphs of her new home in west central Spokane. The story of heartache, joy, and determination is not just Barbanti’s story.

“Whatever I went through then, every immigrant has gone through. You never know what life will bring. But if you dig, you’ll find something that offers you joy and prepares you for the future,” she writes.

Barbanti found her joy in tomatoes – the tools she used to find meaning and happiness in her new life by cooking for friends, testing recipes and selling her sauce.

Barbanti hopes sharing her story will encourage others to reflect on their heritage.

“It could be a word of the language or bringing back the traditions with cooking,” she says. “It’s what shapes us — it shows who you are.”

Tomatoes Are My Tools is available at Auntie's Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave. $20

  • Pin It

Speaking of Books

Latest in Food & Drink

  • Unique Snowflakes
  • Unique Snowflakes

    Local winter beers are breaking into new territory
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Well Paired
  • Well Paired

    Two new additions to Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone development bring together books, food and drinks
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Sugar Rush
  • Sugar Rush

    Spokandy preps year-round to handle an influx of orders during the holiday season
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
World-Class Blown Glass Exhibit

World-Class Blown Glass Exhibit @ The Gallery: ERGJ Newport

Mondays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 24

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Kirsten Harrington

  • Coupon Culture
  • Coupon Culture

    How local shoppers save big and help others
    • Jun 19, 2012
  • Fulfilling the Hype
  • Fulfilling the Hype

    The long-awaited Casper Fry opens in the Perry District.
    • Jun 6, 2012
  • Sushi Reimagined
  • Sushi Reimagined

    Roll Story puts a casual, quick spin on gourmet Japanese fare.
    • May 23, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Captain Planet

    Recycle Man is making the world a little better for people and mascots alike, one bottle at a time
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Swipe right for love

    Technology has totally revolutionized romance. Or maybe it hasn't.
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Top Tags in
Culture & Food

Culture


Last Word


Digest


Food


for your consideration


© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation