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The Boston Globe


Book review

‘The Telling Room’ by Michael Paterniti

This book could make you fat. It is a tale about cheese and will make you hungry for cheese. But, it is also about pleasure and the past. In the figure of Ambrosio Molinos de Las Heras, the wine-savoring master Castilian cheese maker at the heart of it, Michael Paterniti has found a man whose life story is a lesson in the dangers of combining these two things.

It all begins in Ann Arbor, Mich., in the early 1990s when Paterniti was a creative writing student at the university. Late in his studies it occurred to him he wasn’t learning very marketable skills. Weeks before graduation, he slings an application into Zingerman’s, the famous gourmet deli. He is turned down flat, but gets a shot at editing its newsletter.

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