April 25, 2012 08:00 AM by Shayla Perry
Yes, we’re still talking about that darn cookbook! Since the Season 3 finale of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa Giudice‘s joke about Caroline Manzo being “as Italian as The Olive Garden” has been at the center of a lot of the drama on the Bravo reality show. The Manzo family wasn’t laughing when they read it, but did they know about the joke before the book came out? FINALLY, Teresa explains it all.
“In 2010, I began writing Fabulicious! Teresa’s Family Cookbook,” Giudice explains in her Bravo blog. “I had just filmed a Housewives scene with Caroline and Jacqueline and cried, telling them how they were my family too. And Caroline and I appeared on the Rachel Ray show together for a meatball ‘throw down.’ We were supposed to good-naturedly ‘trash-talk’ each other. Caroline said I had to ‘disguise my meatballs with gravy,’ and that her meatballs were going to ‘kick my meatballs’ butts!’
“I literally couldn’t think of any fake insults except, ‘A meatball without sauce? Who does that?’” says T. And in her defense, if you saw her during the improv challenge on Celebrity Apprentice, you know that she doesn’t exactly think very quickly on her feet.
“Then, one of the Rachel Ray producers came up with a line I thought was pretty funny,” Giudice continues. “‘Caroline’s as Italian as The Olive Garden.’ The idea was that since I was conceived in Italy and Italian is my first language, that I cook the traditional way. Caroline’s family is Italian-American, like The Olive Garden, and that’s how she cooks. I bake my meatballs in sauce; she fries hers with no sauce”
According to T, she and Caroline “laughed throughout the show,” and the reason that she recycled the joke in the cookbook was because she was including her meatball recipe and referenced the Rachel Ray meatball challenge, adding that while she’s not a fan of The Olive Garden, “I am, however, a huge fan of Caroline Manzo.”
It wasn’t until after the cookbook was released that Caroline and her family took issue with the comment.
Has Teresa’s explanation of the joke changed your view of the whole cookbook calamity?
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Photo Credit: Bravo