Michael Paterniti wrote about driving cross-country with Einstein’s brain. Now he’s on the trail of the world’s greatest piece of cheese. He joins us.
Michael Paterniti, it turns out, can write about anything. Cambodia, Kabul, driving around with Einstein’s brain in a Tupperware bowl.
In his latest book, The Telling Room, he’s writing about the world’s greatest piece of cheese, up country in a cave in Spain. But it’s really about much more. About slowing down. Telling long stories. Doing one thing incredibly well just for the passion of it, the deep feel and history in it.
About memory and love… and betrayal and revenge.
This hour, On Point: Michael Paterniti and the story of a magnificent obsession in a piece of cheese.
– Tom Ashbrook
Michael Paterniti, author of “The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese.” (@mikepaterniti)
From Tom’s Reading List
The Boston Globe: ‘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.”
The Wall Street Journal: How a Piece of Cheese Turned Into an Epic Tale — “Mr. Paterniti first learned of the cheese more than 20 years ago, as a creative writing graduate student in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He read about it in a deli newsletter that he copyedited. Years later, he traveled to Spain to taste it himself. He learned that Mr. Molinos had gone bankrupt and stopped making the cheese, despite having built a fan base that included Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan and Fidel Castro.”
Chicago Tribune: Review: ‘The Telling Room’ by Michael Paterniti — “Because the stuff about the cheese? About the pleasures of food and family and finding meaning in the old ways of life? That’s just the framework. What Paterniti’s really writing about is storytelling itself.”