Last week, I posted a letter from Christian Spinello, a guy who lives in Lyons and cures his own salumi at home. His missive, which is lengthy, inquisitive and pointed, was directed at Mark DeNittis, an owner ofIl Mondo Vecchio
, the artisan salumeria and manufacturing plant that he started three years ago and is now closing due to circumstances that involve the USDA. Spinello, in particular, was curious to know why DeNittis was shuttering his plant, and DeNittis, who read Spinello's letter, has written his response, which you can read in its entirely on the following page. Will it satisfy Spinello -- and a few others who have posed similar queries -- or do questions still remain?
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I hope this response to your well-versed, lengthy "Open Letter" finds you well.
I appreciate your opinions on salumi and my former business, Il Mondo Vecchio. I have always produced what I like to call "Old World" recipes that have been handed down in my family for generations. I have also created recipes that I find to make a tasty product that have a unique flavor and texture, using the same simple methods. I believe these recipes and techniques set our product apart from all other salumi available. I have deduced that I cannot continue to produce a similar salumi following the current regulations of the USDA, so the choice to follow whatever recipe we choose is just that: our choice.
While I understand that there are other options to produce a different product, this would no longer be the same Il Mondo Vecchio salumi that I am very proud to have created by hand and to serve to IMV's loyal customers. I find these options will compromise the quality and integrity of the product.
Every stick of salumi I have ever sold has been crafted using every safety step possible to ensure a wholesome product under daily inspection of the USDA. I have worked very closely and openly and honestly with them long before I set up my meat grinder, and I plan to continue my respectful relationship with them in my future endeavors.
I have never been dishonest about my business or the ingredients in my products. The USDA carefully regulates them to ensure that every product contains exactly what the product is and the label ingredients claim.
I am very grateful for the years that Il Mondo Vecchio has had, and for the opportunity to share a product that I am very proud of. I am so thankful to every person who has supported us as a small Colorado business.
I am always available to discuss salumi and techniques with you. Salumi is, of course, one of my favorite topics.
Mark M. DeNittis