Stephan Lee
July 26, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Telling Room

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Michael Paterniti
publisher
The Dial Press
genre
Nonfiction

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

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