Il Mondo Vecchio gets cheeky with guanciale, salumi

Categories: Cafe Society

DeNittis, the king of Colorado salumi, is strict about his meat. "It's simple," he says."I do what they did for thousands of years. I don't add any junk. It's simply high-quality meat that's humanely treated, raised and slaughtered." Not only is IMV the best place in town to find guanciale, it's the only salumi processor in the state that has USDA inspectors on-site every single day of production -- and DeNittis has piles of documents to prove it.

"There are a lot of chefs in town making their own salumi, but it's a dangerous game if you don't do it right," says Freemond, who met DeNittis soon after Il Mondo opened and helped on some of its first batches of salumi. DeNettis also makes use of pork and beef from local farms like Cure Organic and chef Hosea Rosenberg's Blackbelly. "From start to finish, I'm following old-world practices, yet meeting new-world regulations," says DeNittis.

Nathan Federico
Production manager Olen Rice and Aguste Escoffier students pack sausage at IMV.

IMV boasts more than eighteen dry-cured products, some of which are DeNittis family recipes. The black pepper salami is blunt, enveloping the palate. The sopressata has a bit of a pepper kick. And the guanciale, crispy like in Freemond's Amatriciana or just sliced raw in thin strips, is pure pork candy, with a strong flavor that has no equal among cured meats. IMV uses salt harvested from an ancient sea bed in Utah, black peppercorns, juniper and bay leaf to cure and season the guanciale -- and unlike many other salumi processors, no nitrate or nitrite.
Chris Utterback
Joe Freemond of Cellar Wine Bar.

"Mark is so dedicated about what he does. He is fanatical about the quality of his chubs," says Freemond, which is why Cellar serves IMV coppa, bresaola and lamb merguez sausage. In fact, it's the only salumi supplier that Freemond uses.

And what wine should you order to wash down all this beautiful meat? "I think Mark would be upset if you drank anything other than Carlo Rossi," Freemond chuckles.

Nathan Federico
DeNittis and fiancé Jenna Johansen.

See more photos from Il Mondo Vecchio on the next page.

Location Info


Cellar Wine Bar - CLOSED

2556 15th St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Il Mondo Vecchio - CLOSED

1174 S. Cherokee St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Kevin Burke
Kevin Burke

It's my understanding that the difference between a HCP certification (local) and the USDA (national) is that by having the inspector there daily basically certifies that the product is safe after leaving your facility whereas the HCP only certifies that it's safe to be served within the confines on the production facility.  I haven't found anything publicly noting that individuals have gotten sick from house-cured programs, I would hope that would be publicly available.   

DonSalumi DeNittis
DonSalumi DeNittis

Colo Salumi/Charcuterie Focus. I agree and it is good lots of talented individuals doing it, doing it well, doing it right and putting out some great products. Curious as to if there are any documented cases of individuals getting sick from eating house-cured salumi (even those that have a HCP with the city) or if it's implied that it's simply possible? Good question regarding documented cases. What have your findings been? And yes it is very real and possible. The more concerning thing regarding that is the potential of cases that go undocumented.Product leaving our facility must be tested for several microbial factors before allowing it to be released for sale. Additionally the facility itself, equipment and food contact surfaces are subject to mandatory monthly testing for LM and other microbial aspect. How rigorous are the "house-cured" salumi programs out there? I've seen both some well done things and things that are so outrageously questionable on every level. 

Kevin Burke
Kevin Burke

Love the focus on Colorado Charcuterie producers.  Curious as to if there are any documented cases of individuals getting sick from eating house-cured salumi (even those that have a HCP with the city) or if it's implied that it's simply possible?

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