By Michael Paterniti

Within the fall of 1991, whereas operating at a gourmand deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Michael Paterniti encountered a section of cheese. not only any cheese. This used to be Paramo de Guzman, an extraordinary Spanish queso reputed to be the best, and most costly, on this planet. The cheese carried its personal legend: made of an historic kin recipe within the medieval Castilian village of Guzman (pop. 80), the cheese was once submerged in olive oil and elderly in a cave the place it won magical qualities-if you ate it, a few acknowledged, chances are you'll recuperate long-lost stories. Too broke to truly purchase the cheese, Paterniti made a quixotic vow: that he may meet this cheese back sometime. Flash ahead ten years, while Paterniti has eventually came across his way-family in tow-to that tiny hilltop village to satisfy the recognized cheesemaker himself, a voluble, magnetic, heartbroken genius named Ambrosio. What Paterniti discovers in Guzman is not anything just like the idyllic slow-food delusion he has imagined. in its place, he wanders into-and ultimately turns into deeply implicated in-the middle of an unfolding secret, during which a village starts off to spill its long-held secrets and techniques, and not anything is sort of what it kind of feels.

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Extra resources for The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese

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13). Here a figure is dressed in a serpent headdress, which in turn is surmounted by an elaborate feather headdress containing two burning torches (von Winning 1979). The figure holds another pair of burning torches, while below are numerous Classic Veracruz scroll forms of the type Stark (1998, 1999:148–149, 2001:339) has associated specifically with the south-central Gulf lowlands. In sum, the imagery of the Feathered Serpent Pyramid at Teotihuacan shares certain fundamental characteristics with what is identified here as the iconography of Feathered Serpents and mirrors in Classic Veracruz generally and in Tajín’s Structure 4 Panel particularly.

AD 350–600) (drawing by the author); b, Classic Veracruz panel resembling Cacahuatal phase works from Tajín region, Museo de Antropología de Xalapa (drawing by Daniela Koontz, courtesy Museo de Antropología de Xalapa). Teotihuacan and the Classic Veracruz panel, but clearly a derivative motif, with a blade emerging from the open maw. As Stone (1989:158) notes, this mirror and blade-tongued serpent motif can be traced back to Early Classic Maya imagery, which would make it roughly contemporary with the Classic Veracruz stela and the Teotihuacan imagery.

AD 100; Daneels 1997), but no other Gulf lowlands center yet studied has such a large concentration. Few Mesoamerican cities anywhere had as many ballcourts: to date only Cantona (twenty-four courts) and Chichén Itzá (thirteen) can claim more during this period (Taladoire 2001:114). Several of the Tajín ballcourts include stone sculpture with a complex iconography that contains clues to the courts’ function and meaning. The subject of this chapter is the meaning encoded in the most prominent and elaborately decorated ballcourt, and what that may tell us about its function.

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The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti


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