It has been widely accepted in Denver's foodie community that if you want good quality cured meats, there is only one place to go: Il Mondo Vecchio (IMV). As a fan of chef Mark DeNittis' old world product, I'm saddened by the recent events leading to IMV's closure. Time-consuming USDA inspections—which the company passed but that caused an irreparable lapse in sales—forced IMV to close its doors.
Today, salumi fans can show support for IMV and DeNittis by stocking up on the last links at the business' final "loading dock Friday"—product sold straight from IMV's loading dock. Get what you can (from 1 to 6 p.m.) because this is it. On dock today: pepperoni, vino e pepe nero, guanciale (like bacon, but made with pig jowl—great for cooking), hot coppa, Colorado's Best Beef bresaola, and 10-month culatello. My top picks:
Bresaola, DeNittis explains, is "like fancy beef jerky: air dried beef…sliced paper-thin.” Made from a not-too-salty family recipe, you will taste the full flavor profile: rich red wine, complimented by herbs and spice. The meat is especially nice when eaten with greens (try arugula), a drizzle of good olive oil, and some shaved Manchego.
Hot coppa, a cut that comes from the neck or center of the hog shoulder, is praised by DeNittis for its "nice porky-ness." This air-dried, hot variety holds its own with strong cheeses. Taste it alongside a sharp, aged provolone.
Il Mondo Vecchio, 1174 S. Cherokee St.
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock