By Liz Everly
Sometimes I like to ponder the deeper things in life. What is love? What is the meaning of life? And what, just exactly, is the appeal of Italian men? Hmmm?
I grew up in a heavily-Italian populated part of the U.S. The “Sons of Italy” held fish fries on Fridays and were always participants in any kind of community food festival. For me, my love of Italian men might be traced back to my roots. They were so different from the blond, blue-eyed men in my family. (For me, being different from my family was an attractive quality.) They were dark, earthy, passionate men, bound by family and community. Yet, oh, so mysterious to me and very, very, VERY sexy.
I love their classic bone structure and deep-down love of good food. I love Thai food and Indian food and a variety of other kinds of food—but if I had to choose my favorite kind of “ethnic” food, it would be Italian. It tastes like home to me. In truth, so do Italian men.
Wouldn’t you like a bite of this?
And then there is the accent. Can you just imagine the sweet whisper and sighs between the sheets, punctuated with those sexy accents? Or maybe lovely Italian words “Bella…” (is there a language more beautiful?)
Of course, Italy’s regions all offer up different kinds of food, traditions, and men (I suppose). When I was researching for the sixth installment of EIGHT LAYS AROUND THE WORLD, which is set in Italy, I focused on Tuscany because this is the white truffle region. I loved learning about the highly trained dogs and the methods of finding the very expensive nuggets. (I have a new Pinterest board Truffle Hunting, check it out.) Giovanni, the male character in this story, is a wealthy truffle hunter who is also, um, quite earthy and delicious. He has interesting thoughts about food. Of course.
“We stopped working at about 5 a.m. and I was tired and hungry when we stepped into the kitchen of the villa. The scent of frying butter and something else…earthy, musky wafted. When they sat a platter of it in front me, I nearly fainted from the richness of the butter, dripping off the truffles.
“This is the best way to have them,” Giovanni told me. “You can do all kind of things with them—dress them up, add special sauces, but those of us who know will tell you. Plain. In butter,” he said with butter dripping down his chin. “It’s like sex. If it’s good, you don’t need, um, embellishment.” ”
Another little bit of wisdom from Giovanni:
“We used to talk about food and cooking, You know, Marko used to say that cooking is about control,” he said. “Eating is about submission. He said that people who really enjoy their food are great in bed.”
So there you have it. Sexy-food wisdom from my hunk of a truffle hunter.
This series has been fun for me to write. I’ve learned a lot about other cultures in my research, and had fun creating my multinational cast of men. Two more installments to go in the series. Check out my Italian men Pinterest board. Yowzah. In the mean time, to celebrate the release of “Italy,” I’m offering the first in the series for free until Friday. Enjoy!