Also By This Author
“A satisfying look into the good life.” Publishers Weekly
Living in a Foreign Language
A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy
978-0-8021-4362-4 • $14.00 • Paperback • June 2008
From award-winning actor Michael Tucker comes a lush and delicious memoir about food, family, and finding home in a faraway place.
The actor Michael Tucker and his wife, the actress Jill Eikenberry, having sent their last child off to college, were vacationing in Italy when they happened upon a small cottage nestled in the Umbrian countryside. The 350-year-old Rustico sat perched on a hill in the verdant Spoleto valley amid an olive grove and fruit trees of every kind.
It was literally love at first sight, and the couple purchased the house without testing the water pressure or checking for signs of termites. Shedding the vestiges of their American life, Michael and Jill endeavored to learn the language, understand the nuances of Italian culture, and build a home in this new chapter of their lives, with just two criteria: to eat well and drink plenty of wine. “Our goal,” writes Tucker, “was to slow down our hearts and minds until they synched up with the circadian rhythm of the Italian countryside.”
What follows is a lush and delicious memoir about finding home in a faraway place. Tucker takes us to a host of intrinsically Italian placesa neighborhood butcher shop where the owner cures his own prosciutto, a harvest festival in the rustic city of Canarra, an antique store in a Roman alley. We share his laughter as he opens his home to a strong and vibrant group of expatriates and delight in his testimony of sharing life’s adventures with someone he loves dearly. And we eat vicariously through his sumptuous descriptions of long and lavish dinners at neighborhood trattorias with antipasti fit for kings, of the mouthwatering sandwiches at a roadside porchetta stand owned by a pork-serving seductress, and of large, celebratory parties featuring roasted pig and lamb, with homemade pizzas
baked in the Tucker’s four-hundred-year-old wood-burning oven.
Both a celebration of a good marriage and a careful study of the nature of home, Living in a Foreign Language is a gorgeous, organic travelogue written with an epicurean’s delight in detail and a gourmand’s appreciation for all things.