By Michael Tucker

Michael Tucker and his wife Jill Eikenberry are probably best known from their time on LA Law, but about five years ago they gave up their Californian lifestyle to buy a 300-year-old cottage in Spoleto, Umbria, complete with its own olive grove and 400-year-old forno, or outdoor oven. This memoir is a little about their life in Umbria, a little about their relationship and attempts to learn Italian, a little about the ex-pats and local Italian people that they meet along the way and a lot about the food.
Barely a page goes by without a detailed description of some fantastically simple Italian dish, how it is prepared, its ingredients, how it tastes – the Margherita pizza, the strengozzi al tartufo, the fresh cheese drizzled with chestnut honey – you could gain 20 pounds just from reading this book, and it is sure to have its readers either making reservations for Italian food or for a flight to Italy.
What comes through the most is the author’s near reverence for the freshness of their food and for the gently-passing, conversation-filled meal-times shared with his beloved wife and dear friends, as opposed to the grab-and-gulp frozen meals eaten in North America. Those who have been to Italy will love this book, and for those who just dream of going this book brings it all the way to your door – you can almost smell the mortadella on every page.

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