Can Food Heal a Broken Heart?

Monday 11th, August 2014 / 16:33 Written by
Can Food Heal a Broken Heart?

“The Broken Heart Diet” Will Satisfy Your Craving for a Great Romantic Comedy


**Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  All opinions are mine.

“All of us grew up eating family recipes which we loved and refer to today as ‘comfort food’. Comfort foods, which are different for each of us, are those foods we remember from childhood as the foods that helped us celebrate happiness during birthdays or holidays, foods that helped us through sadness of losing someone we loved or foods we tended toward when we were falling in love. Comfort foods have the ability to heal not just our physical ails, but also our emotional ails. When we are depressed, we may want chocolate cake, when we are sad we may reach for fried chicken and when we have a broken heart we may look to pasta to help us through. Our emotions are very much tied to food.”

So are the emotions we are feeling at the time we are cooking a meal getting passed on to the people who eat it? If we are cooking a romantic dinner for our true love and if we really pour our heart (and love) into it, will that person be more apt to fall in love with us? This is a question pondered by Dante Palermo, the main character and Chef in Tom Formaro’s new book, The Broken Heart Diet. In the book, Dante, coached by the ghost of his Sicilian nonna, learns to focus on what he knows best, his cooking, as he goes through a whirlwind of emotions in his love life. While his nonna cooked his favorite childhood meals she was showing him how he could mend his broken heart. 

And with the description of meals, like the Puttanesca sauce with aromas of anchovies, garlic, olives and red pepper or the Duck Saltimbocca (sauteed boneless, skinless duck breast with sage and prosciutto in a marsala wine sauce), this book will have you more than a little hungry.

“Heartache happens to everyone,” Says Formaro. “This book was inspired by the process of going from utterly heartbroken, to feeling like you won the lottery in love and all of the ups and downs in between. Through focusing on food and cooking, and listening to the wisdom of his ethereal  nonna, Dante’s able to come back to the present. Keeping himself from ruminating on the past or future, his heart begins to heal, and despite all that he’s been through, Dante inspires us with his willingness to take a chance on love yet again.”

I really liked the idea of the “Feast of the Broken Hearts” on Valentine’s Day for all the people who were not in a relationship during that holiday and didn’t want to stay at home alone. It gave singles the opportunity to enjoy the day by meeting new friends and enjoying a great meal. What a wonderful idea!

This book is romance, magic and funny all at once. And the descriptions of the foods will have you salivating!

About the Author


Tom Formaro is a writer, drummer, and dad. After 14 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, Formaro now lives in Des Moines with his wife and beautiful daughter. He’s the son of a Sicilian immigrant and a first-generation Italian-American. His family is in the restaurant business and in high school, college, and grad school, he worked in restaurants as everything from a dishwasher to a cook. The Broken Heart Diet is largely based on Tom’s kitchen experience. He has published short stories in SpoilageAkkadianSoMa Literary Review, and A Sexy Story. He is also the co-author of a children’s book, Alfonso, the Christmas Pumpkin.

Twitter: @tomformaro

To learn more about the book, please visit

The Broken Heart Diet can be purchased on,, and


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