The Telling Room : A Tale of Love, Betrayal, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese - Michael Paterniti

The Telling Room

A Tale of Love, Betrayal, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese


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In the picturesque Spanish village of Guzman, villagers have gathered for centuries in 'the telling room' to share their stories. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti listened as Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras spun an odd and compelling tale about a cheese made from an ancient family recipe. Reputed to be among the finest in the world -one bite could conjure long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong . . .

Paterniti was hooked. Relocating his young family to Guzman, he is soon sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing. The Telling Room is as surprising, evocative and wildly entertaining as the world it portrays.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

The Telling Room is an unlikely but true story of intrigue, revenge and CHEESE. Yes Cheese. They take cheese seriously in Spain. As they do betrayal and the rustic machismo of settling scores. Written with humor, verve and vitality, this is a fascinating, entertaining journey into Castilian tradition and pride, told from the perspective of an appreciative American consumer who gets seduced by a charismatic peasant, aptly called Ambrosio. The footnotes on every page are full of funny anecdotal and scholarly digressions that amplify the pleasures of the story- think of them as the wine that matches the cheese.

About the Author

Michael Paterniti is a journalist and has been nominated eight times for the National Magazine Award. One of his stories was chosen for True Stories: A Century of Literary Nonfiction, joining four other writers as the best examples of literary journalism from the last hundred years. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book Driving Mr Albert. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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