Carnivore Club Review - Inagural Box October 2013 - Canadian Gourmet Food Subscription Box


What is it? Carnivore Club 
How Much? $50 per month, includes shipping. $55 one time purchase. Gift options also available. 
What’s in it?  4 to 6 selections of cured and smoked meats, charcuterie and jerky from across the planet.

I found out about Carnivore Club while browsing IndieGoGo one day. They were running a crowd funding campaign to get their gourmet cured meat subscription running. Two things immediately struck me: one, Carnivore Club is Canadian, based in Alberta and two, it's a monthly subscription box! To make this even better, it s a subscription box that delivers gourmet meat products! I pledged immediately, signing up to receive the Premiere Carnivore Club box.

First look
Carnivore Club specializes in finding you products that cannot be found at your local grocery store or butcher shop. Our partners are all small artisan producers because we believe in the quality and care each partner takes to create their products. 
Their mission: "to help discerning individuals discover the best meat the world has to offer, every single month".   Eventually Carnivore Club wants to set  up a shop on their website, for consumers to purchase their favourite products.

Printing on inside of box.

Product card.

My first impressions were great. I love the signature box, designed to look like old wood. The product card is colourful and informative. There are a few typos (insure instead of ensure, do instead of due), but that is often the case with new boxes (and some unfortunate older ones!). The meat is packaged in sturdy vacuum sealed packages. I would have liked to see labels on them to easier identify what is what. The salami and the chorizo were a tad confusing, but I think I figured it out.

Now for the contents...

Iberico Chorizo
This is a Spanish chorizo made from the black Iberian pig. It's mixed with paprika paste, peppers, garlic, wine, spices, and salt, then left to mature 24 hours. Once the casings are filled, the links are left for "natural air-dry curing" for no less than 30 days.

Bresola
Bresola is a salt-cured, air-dried beef. It's an Italian cured meat that has been around since the 15th century. This cut has been rubbed with cinnamon, nutmeg, juniper berries, pepper, bay leaf, cloves, thyme, oregano, and rosemary.
 
Culatello
Culatello is an Italian cured meat, made near the Parma region of Italy. This meat, cut from the rear leg of the pig, is cured in caves for 12 months. Carnivore Club says this traditional Italian meat is is the best of the best, and is also very hard to find.

Pata Negra 
Carnivore Club says this one is considered the most famous cured meat in the world. It looks a lot like prosciutto. It is made from the Iberian pig, like the chorizo, and comes from the Iberico region of Spain. The pigs are pasture raised and quite prized.

Pate de Champagne
At first glance I was a worried, but now I'm cautiously curious. This is a traditional Quebecois pate made from cooked ground meat, seasons with whole peppercorns, mushrooms, and white wine. It's to be spread over a baguette, and can be topped with a fig spread for added sweetness. 

Toscana Salami A Finocchio
This is a traditional Tuscan style sausage made from pure pork and spiced with fennel seeds. It's produced by local Italian artisan producers.

Overall I am quite impressed with Carnivore Club. I received 6 very good sized packets of gourmet cured meats. I'm sure I would never be able to find products like this on my own. It's impossible to properly put a value on the products in this box, but I'm quite certain it is worth what I paid, if not considerably more. Part of the appeal of Carnivore Club, along with receiving the box and contents, is experiencing the products. I haven't tried any of the meats yet but I look forward to putting them out for guests with some gourmet cheese and great BC wine.

While I think Carnivore Club technically is aimed at men, I was so impressed by this inaugural box, I signed up for a month-to-month recurring subscription.  With the holidays coming, it's the perfect time. Subscriptions can be held or cancelled easily though account settings on the website. Gifting is even easier. You can specify the length of your gift subscription based on your budget. One, two, three, five, seven, ten... any number of months you want. You can also specify the start date of the gift, making it perfect for wedding gifts and Christmas time.

If you are interested in Carnivore Club, use promo code WC10 to get $10 off your first shipment. This promo code comes from Wine Collective, a Canadian wine subscription service.

What do you think of Carnivore Club?


Comments are now closed for this post. Please e-mail me with any comments or questions.

Comments

  1. I was super tempted by that campaign even though it's way out of my budget , but in the end, was turned off by the whole "GRR MEN IT'S MEAT FOR MANLY MEN RARRR" marketing angle. Surely kickass food is unisex, Carnivore Club? Shame.

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    1. The video was very tongue in cheek. I found it quite humorous. They could stand to tone down the male driven marketing, since females tend to be the top consumers these days, especially online. It worked on me because I'm more interested in the actual product than anything else.

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    2. Yeah, on its own it probably wouldn't have been a dealbreaker because seriously, that box looks GREAT, but combined with the price point, it was like if they don't care enough to even acknowledge my existence as a consumer who might want it, why should I care enough to give them my money?

      And it's right in my province, too, FRUSTRATING. XD

      Delete
  2. This is out of my price range but sounds pretty neat!

    writingwhimsy.com

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  3. I'm going to try it out for Xmas entertaining, thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That was my thinking too when I signed up.

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    2. You're a little famous: http://wagjag.com/?w=104218&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=MASTER%20LIST%20-%20Wagjag+Deals%20to%20Your%20Door%20-%20WJ&utm_campaign=11-13-13-DealstoYourDoor-Carnivore-WJ

      Delete
  4. That's a very interesting concept, and it all looks pretty tasty. Unfortunately, it's out of my price range as well.

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    Replies
    1. It is very pricey for a personal subscription. I have it in mind for gifts for a few people over the holidays and birthdays next year (1-2 months only).

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  5. PS. Your Canadian link goes to the Luxe website (at least it does for me).

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for pointing that out! I fixed it.

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  6. I like this box! A little on the expensive side, but I might just use the promo code and I love that it's Canadian too!

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    1. Perfect time to stock up for holiday entertaining! I buy prosciutto a lot in the grocery store and it's expensive so I 100% positive this box is worth way more than $50. It's not something I can justify long term but for the next couple months I'm going to take advantage.

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  7. Perfect time indeed, should you wish to cause harm to friends and family:

    THE QUESTION: Lately I have been reading that deli meats are really unhealthy. How much is safe to eat? What are better alternatives for sandwiches?

    THE ANSWER: Processed meats, including deli meats, have been the focus of recent reports. Last week, a 12-year European study of nearly half a million men and women linked a steady diet of processed meats to premature death.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/is-deli-meat-actually-bad-for-you/article9559850/comments/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You missed this part of the article:

      "People who ate more than 160 grams of processed meat each day – versus less than 20 grams – were 44 per cent more likely to die early, in particular from cardiovascular disease but also from cancer (160 grams of processed meat is equivalent to two large Italian sausages or three slices of deli ham and three small hot dogs). The more they ate, the greater the risk."

      and:

      "How much processed meat is safe to eat? The study findings suggested eating 20 grams or less per day didn’t increase the risk of early death (20 grams is about 2 strips of bacon or half a kid’s size hot dog)."

      I personally don't eat these items every day, nor do I eat more than a piece or two at a time.

      As always, everything in moderation.

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  8. DON'T DO IT!
    In theory, Carnivore Club is a fantastic idea. In execution it certain falls short of the mark. I signed up in November to start delivery in January. My order arrived in November. One product smelled "off" and actually had mold on it (and this was after being stored in a cold cellar until I contacted the company to determine shelf life). At that time I was told that a replacement order would be sent to me in January.
    Our order arrived on a Friday and since we were not there to receive it was returned to Canada Post where it remained in an unrefrigerated warehouse until Monday evening.
    I have requested a refund because I am certainly not comfortable ingesting meats stored at room temperature for three days when the package clearly advises consumers to refrigerate immediately.
    The response has been inadequate and offensive. I was told we had received an order in December to rectify the early shipment in November (not true), that we were provided with a tracking number (not true) and that "many other companies would not have sent you another box due to an early delivery" (read: many other companies wouldn't fix a mistake they made so why should we?).
    They are not willing to offer a refund unless there is a problem with the quality (they are willing to risk food poisoning of customers) but "Spending an extra weekend at Canada Post will not ruin the quality of the product in the slightest, especially not in the winter".
    You are much, much better off taking the $50 a month and going to a local store and purchasing your cured meats there. Better, more personal service and a much higher quality of meat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since you shared your experience on two of my Carnivore Club posts, I will post the same reply here that I did to your last post:

      Thank you for your comment and I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I also received questionable product in my November box, as I posted about above, including photos. Customer Service was great for me. They sent a replacement box immediately and threw in a free t-shirt. Had I requested a refund instead of a replacement, I'm certain they would have obliged. The explanation I received for the mould issue was that they were trying new packaging (the black trays), which didn't work because they weren't sealed properly. They fixed that problem with the December box (which I received, but did not post about because it was gobbled up). I have had, nor heard of, any issues since November's unfortunate box.

      Meats that are cured properly and sealed to be air tight do not need refrigeration. One can easily find gourmet cured meats in the store that are not refrigerated (salami is commonly sold this way). If lack of refrigeration is a concern, cured meats may not be for you, since the very process of curing happens in an open-air, non-refrigerated environment. I once cured homemade pepperoni in my condo storage locker (don't tell my strata!).

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