I spent a large part of my life inside cheese factories, cutting cheese, talking about cheese... it was always a fascinating, intriguing experience... around the world, I talked to cheesemakers of all stripes, from the most taciturn to the most speakers... from those simple and shy, to those cunning and suspicious... with everyone, I learned something, and in many I glimpsed cracks of light in the shadows that dominate a craft that is lost between the sublime imprecision of art and disconcerting logic of science... So, year by year, cheese by cheese, I was sewing this brilliant patchwork made up of facts, phenomena... and, certainly, unspeakable beliefs... because the illusion, (sweet for some, bitter for others) accompanies ineffable and accurate, mythical stories of cheesemakers and cheeses, creators and creatures... In this surprising cheese-making life, I walked scared between ferocious hordes of coliforms and treacherous flocks of butterflies... I fell in love with propionic sweets in green pastures and I felt the heat, almost human, of the restless thermophiles and the lethargic placidity of the warm and well-behaved mesophiles... I descended into the depths of cavernous bodegas seduced by the intoxicating aroma of ketones and methyl ketones from old cheeses, moldy in their misfortune of eternal oblivion. .. In this labyrinth of memories and intermittent oblivions, I stumbled and picked
loose letters that Athena, full of spells, sowed, at random, on my path... from them I made words that, an uncertain potter, I converted into inert bricks, which rose into living walls when with them I built this book, the perennial home of a knowledge that I borrowed from so many cheesemakers whose kind eyes I looked into, whose rough hands I shook, whose valuable time I stole... whether in the pianura of magical Lombardy, or in the inexplicable mountains of my late Minas Gerais... Locked up for months on end in these rough walls of circumspect words and tortuous semicolons, I became a slave to this book, from the hopeful prologue to the fatal
epilogue... And now, in possession of my letter of freedom, I leave you this work and part of my own story, and I resume the endless road, carried by these tireless feet and my eager eyes, faithful guides of a restless heart , without direction, without brokenness, driven only by the need to create and be greater than my own existence...
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