Vittorio Beltrami is a cheese extremist, a philosopher, an Italian Einstein (with matching hairstyle), and a village madman. He confronts everybody around him with his “I am more Slow Food than Slow Food” philosophy, whether they will listen to him or not.
“Too much technology! Everything should be made by manually! Goats are as smart as people! Nobody makes cheese like I do anymore! Slow Food has turned into a company!”
The tirade starts passionately and angrily, but for the patient ones who continue to listen to him, it ends with hope and friendliness. And, if you’re a woman, with a kiss on the hand.
Because I didn’t know what to do with six weeks of summer holiday, I spent two weeks working for this character. I heard the monologue above many times, directed at many different victims: customers in the cheese shop, tourists, his employees, or just random passers-by. I noticed that most of them actually listened to him and respected his authority on these matters. Maybe because his small, round goat cheese (Caprino) and cave-aged sheep cheese (Pecorino di Fossa) are actually really impressive, or maybe because of his olive oil, which can sometimes be found in the top ten of Italy. Maybe this was not a bad place for a summer job after all…