The Telling Room

The Telling Room

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

Book - 2013
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In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave on the edge of town, there is a cramped limestone chamber known as "the telling room." This is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets--usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine. It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a Spanish cheesemaker as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio's cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong. Paterniti was hooked. Soon he was fully embroiled, relocating his young family to Guzmán in order to chase the truth about this fairy tale-like place. What he ultimately discovers is nothing like the idyllic fable he first imagined. Instead, he's sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Dial Press, 2013
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780385337014
Branch Call Number: 637.3092 P2959t 2013
Characteristics: xii, 349 pages : ill. ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Perhaps the most dramatic and totally absorbing tale of cheese ever written.

Writer Michael Paterniti fell in love with a piece of Spanish cheese -- and the mysterious story behind it. USA Today pick.

From the critics

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May 12, 2014

Fun read, although it ended up being more about the author than the cheesemaker.

Mar 26, 2014

About halfway through the book, the creator of the cheese of the subtitle wonders who he is if he is not making his cheese, if he has an identity if he is not creating his masterwork. It struck me that this book should be on the shelf of everyone in the Innovation Lab, all those makers and hackers who love creating and have fully found themselves in the maker movement.

ChiPubLib_Adults Mar 05, 2014

While working at the renowned Zingerman's deli in Ann Arbor, MI back in the early 90s, author Paterniti came across a remarkable Spanish cheese. Years later he was inspired to track down its creator, and so he set off for Spain. There the cheese maker recounts a surprisingly moving story of joy, family betrayal and vengeance, and so began Paterniti's decade-long quest to gather the whole story. The book has plenty to say about history and tradition, with plenty of fascinating asides into such topics as Spanish folklore, the history of cheese and even the creation of Pringles. Foodies will certainly enjoy this excellent book, as well as fans of quirky nonfiction (and we know there are many of you).

ser_library Jan 29, 2014

fun to read but it is as much about the author's family as it is about the cheese

kellnerm Jan 22, 2014


niftygal Dec 15, 2013

EW top 10 non-fiction of 2013

ChristchurchLib Oct 14, 2013

"Having once worked as a part-time proofreader at Michigan's famous Zingerman's Delicatessen, Michael Paterniti never forgot a deliciously described cave-aged sheep's milk cheese he'd read about then. Eventually, he travelled to Guzmán, a rural Spanish village, where he discovered the amazing cheese that was "made with love" was no longer being made. The charismatic, larger-than-life farmer/cheesemaker Ambrosio Molinos de las Hera tells him he was betrayed by his partner, ruining the business. Paterniti quickly becomes enmeshed in Ambrosio's fascinating world, visiting often in order to savour his stories and dig deeper into his life; Paterniti even moves to the village with his wife and kids for a time. Chock full of footnotes and digressive passages, this leisurely yet tasty tale will best please those who enjoy the journey." Armchair Travel October 2013


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