For a little more than a year, a small wholesale facility in an unassuming Basalt commercial district has improbably been turning out exquisite salumi. That’s because Bill Miner, the chef who owns Denver’s Il Porcellino Salumi—a butcher shop/salumeria/deli—took over the former Avalanche Cheese Company’s midvalley production space so he could make and distribute even more of his company’s award-winning fare.
Miner and his team source pastured heritage-breed pork from Colorado and Midwest ranches for their products (we particularly love the orange pistachio and diablo salamis, the latter spiced with fennel seed and Calabrian chiles). In August, a whole-muscle curing program debuts (in addition to one in Denver), made possible by 1,500 square feet of added production space. With that launch will come local availability in November of Il Porcellino’s acclaimed coppa—recipient of a 2017 award from the Good Food Foundation—as well as Wagyu bresaola, lomo, pancetta tesa, guanciale, and culatello. Another line of deli meats, cooked sausages, and bacon is slated for early winter. “The products we’re making are special because of the mountain air and climate in which they’re produced,” says Miner.
As for that modest Basalt facility, Miner credits it with no less than housing the first wave of artisan food production here. “The most important thing is that we’re carrying on a craft food movement that [Avalanche Cheese owner] Wendy Mitchell started in the Roaring Fork Valley over a decade ago,” he says. “It’s an honor to follow in her footsteps.”
Find Il Porcellino products on the menus at several local restaurants, including Element 47, Acquolina, and the Limelight Aspen lounge, as well as at retail outlets Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop, Clark’s Market, Roxy’s Market, the Butcher’s Block, and the Basalt Sunday Market.