The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese – Michael Paterniti
In the fall of 1991, while working at a gourmet deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Michael Paterniti encountered a piece of cheese. Not just any cheese. This was Paramo de Guzman, a rare Spanish queso reputed to be the finest, and most expensive, in the world. The cheese carried its own legend: Made from an ancient family recipe in the medieval Castilian village of Guzman (pop. 80), the cheese was submerged in olive oil and aged in a cave where it gained magical qualities – if you ate it, some said, you might recover long-lost memories.
Too broke to actually buy the cheese, Paterniti made a quixotic vow: that he would meet this cheese again someday. Flash forward ten years, when Paterniti has finally found his way-family in tow – to that tiny hilltop village to meet the famous cheesemaker himself, a voluble, magnetic, heartbroken genius named Ambrosio. What Paterniti discovers in Guzman is nothing like the idyllic slow-food fable he has imagined. Instead, he wanders into – and eventually becomes deeply implicated in – the heart of an unfolding mystery, in which a village begins to spill its long-held secrets, and nothing is quite what it seems.