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The Telling Room review

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CHEESE WHIZ Author Michael Paterniti's The Telling Room molds an unexpected round of betrayal, conflict, and intrigue — all around a humble Spanish cheese.

The Telling Room

Current Status:
In Season
Michael Paterniti
The Dial Press

We gave it an A

If you’ve never sampled Páramo de Guzmán — a curiously sharp sheep’s-milk cheese aged in olive oil — you’ll definitely want a taste after reading Michael Paterniti’s exquisite reportage in The Telling Room. The cheese, made in a tiny town in Spain’s Castile region, is legendary for both its kicky flavor and its quixotic creator, Ambrosio Molinos. For good reason, Paterniti gets swept up in Molinos’ gripping tale about the cheese, which encompasses decades of village conflict, a devastating betrayal by Molinos’ closest friend, and his philosophy of preserving old traditions.

It’s a testament to Paterniti’s powers that he’s able to squeeze a saga about a beautiful country and an unforgettable man from a (delicious) hunk of curdled fat. A