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West Loop Salumi
Meat the king: a three-pound piece of bresaola goes for $120.

You know what goes great with eggs? Spicy, crumbly chorizo. Then there are sizzling cubes of pancetta, always amazing with Brussels sprouts. And please, don?t get us started on bacon--we?d eat it on anything. (Sorry vegans, but there?s always this to tide you over until tomorrow.)

Cured meat is such a flavor no-brainer that we think a tiny new shop called West Loop Salumi has big-time potential.

Recently opened in a red-painted storefront on Randolph Street, the spot is the city?s first salumeria (or charcuterie) that?s USDA-certified to use old-school, no-heat-required methods to dry-cure princely pork from Berkshire hogs. ??

Owner Greg Laketek and his one employee, Jesse Katzman (Laketek is a Kendall grad who studied under Italy?s salumi master, and Katzman is an Avec and Publican alum), are keeping only weekend hours for now, and you can buy their products online and in a few local gourmet shops.

??But it?s worth it to plan your Saturday around stopping in to chat with them about European curing techniques while taste-testing meltingly fatty slices of finocchiona salami or a paper-thin sample of pink prosciutto. ??

And the next time you?re searching for a hostess gift? Leave the rosé, take the guanciale. ??

West Loop Salumi, 1111 W. Randolph St.; 312-255-7004 or westloopsalumi.com

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