Monday, December 23, 2019

Feast Of The Seven Fishes Book Review

Is your family archive of recipes full of recipes tucked away in notebooks, on napkins, folded pieces of paper and the old school recipe cards? And haven't you always wanted to turn those treasured recipes into a book along with the family memories?

Book cover of Feast Of The Seven Fishes with old family photos and fish on the cover.

In Feast Of The Seven Fishes a families' authentic Italian recipes are shared in combination with the stories of each recipe and the neighborhood which shaped this family and its' traditions.

Memoir + Cookbook

Feast Of The Seven Fishes: A Brooklyn Italian's Recipes Celebrating Food & Family by Daniel Paterna is a combination memoir and cookbook. This is the story of the community of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn and the impact the community had upon the author and his family through the generations. Food, family and community are interwoven with delightful neighborhood anecdotes with the impact of remembering history for those who grew up in Bensonhurst and to preserve it for future generations.

The story of Bensonhurst will resonate if your Grandma, food, family dinners and family owned neighborhood shops were apart of your community. It is rare for a cookbook to read as a memoir and vice versa which is what makes this combination so unique and enjoyable.

The Recipes

Do you have a treasure trove of family recipes written or typed on the old school index recipe cards? I suspect you do and the photos of this families' recipes handwritten on index cards certainly evoke fond memories of my Grandma and Mom's favorite recipes! And of course there are the personalized "notes" on the cards ...

The authentic Italian recipes are detailed throughout the journey of the neighborhood as the author recalls the family food shops which were an integral and historical part of the family recipes. 

Take a journey through each major holiday and the traditional Italian recipes which accompany each holiday.  The chapter with a compilation of Feast Of The Seven Fishes recipes is amazing and slightly intimidating (due to the number of dishes) for one who has never cooked such a feast! However, the recipes are inspiring to all cooks to either compare your family recipe or for those seeking authentic Italian recipes.

I am excited to cook these recipes and up my cooking game with authentic Italian recipes! Memoir fans and cookbook fans are sure to enjoy this book. This is a perfect gift for those who want real Italian recipes - old school - and aren't those recipes usually the best!

I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Though not Italian myself, I have had a lot of authentic Italian dishes from the large Italian community I lived in during my high school years. An after-movie snack at MY house might be hot chocolate and donuts or tuna salad on crackers. The same 'snack' at my friend Tony's house with his mama, papa, grandfather, little brother, sister and her husband would equal a 7-course meal in my family! No one appreciates food and cooking more than the Italian 'mamas' I knew back then. Having sampled some of their wonderful dishes, I can already tell I would enjoy this Feast of the Seven Fishes cookbook and memoir. It is sure to bring back some wonderful memories.

    1. Definitely brings back memories of my Irish Grandma and her neighborhood and my Aunt Mary's family who made their own pasta for the beloved lasagna brought to family gatherings!

  2. Tracey, I love cookbooks that interweave special recipes and the personal stories that give them meaning! It reminds me of one of the handmade gifts my mother and sister loved most. When I was younger, I used to spend the month leading up to the holidays baking a large assortment of gourmet cookies for my friends and family. They were a huge labor of love (and a much sought-after gift). One year, I bought three beautiful, handmade, fabric-covered blank books and carefully wrote out each of my Christmas cookie recipes in all three of them - one for my mother, one for my sister and one for me. They have since become family heirlooms. Thanks for sharing this very special cookbook/memoir!

    1. What a fabulous gift and a true treasured heirloom!

  3. It sounds like a delightful cookbook full of recipes and stories. Yes, indeed, I do have old recipes in precious handwriting on recipe cards from several family members. I just pulled out one today, for only for a moment for fear of messing up the card. They are definitely treasures!

  4. Oh I love this kind of book where a recipe and a story come together. It helps me to remember the recipe and usually gives me a few chuckles along the way to making it in my kitchen. Sounds like I could use a new cookbook, I don't have anything like this one.

  5. When my mother passed on, the one thing I gathered as a keepsake were her handwritten recipes on index cards. Though my mom was not a big cook, there are so many memories associated with family food and meals. I can imagine this cookbook will bring back wonderful memories to anyone who has the pleasure of receiving this gift.

  6. What a lovely way to construct a cookbook. It sounds fantastic as well. Our home town put together a cookbook from all the ladies of the town back in the 1980s - I still have that book, and continue to make several recipes from it. Most of the people in it are relatives, so it's a trip down memory lane every time I open it.

  7. We recently had a visit to New York City where we learned about immigration in part through the Tenement Museum. Feast Of The Seven Fishes sounds like an interesting look into the Italian world of NYC.


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