Carnivore Club Review - November 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. 


The  November Carnivore Club shipped December 2nd and arrived December 5th. The first thing I noticed was the new packaging. Instead of being vacuum sealed, some of the products were in shallow plastic trays, sealed with cello wrap.


The theme for November's box is "exclusive and rare", and features products from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, Switzerland, and Quebec. The product card also included a wine pairing suggestion, which was nice to see. The wine chosen is an Old Vine Foch, a grape common to the Okanagan wine region in BC!

The next thing I noticed was that one product appeared to have mould growing on it. I immediately Tweeted Carnivore Club to see if this was normal. They responded very quickly. After e-mailing back and forth, it was determined this white mould was NOT normal, and likely caused by the new packaging not being air-tight. The "Chief Carnivore" offered to send me a new box and a free Carnivore Club t-shirt. He also said he would be e-mailing all customers to see if anyone else had the same problem, and make similar arrangements for replacement. The whole issue was resolved in a couple hours and over the next few days, I was kept up to date, via e-mail, on the status of my replacement box (which arrived today). Unfortunately, they could not get replacement products from the November box, so I received an extra December box early. I won't get to taste the Lukkhiken, a Swiss-German style pork from Switzerland, but I am extremely impressed with the great service I received from Carnivore Club.

Now for the rest of the products in November's "exclusive & rare" box:

Lonza - Also called Lombo or Lomo, this is part of the pig's lumbar region. Capocollo also comes from this region of the animal. This product comes from the Emilia Eomagna area of Northern Italy, and can only be found on the charcuterie platter of one restaurant in Canada. This one is also wrapped in the new plastic/cell packaging, but it showed no signs of mould.
 
Duck Rillette Terrine - This is a french meat loaf, similar to pate. It's made from shredded duck meat, mixed with duck fat, and is said to be "out-of-this-world" good. It's from Quebec. It was double wrapped in the plastic container so it was in good condition as well.

Chobai - A Hungarian style sausage made from pork that is dried and smoked. It's infused with orange peel, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper, then cured for 30 days. It's medium spiced so it's versatile and apparently great on pizza. 

Proscuitto de Parma - This proscuitto comes from an artisan in Parma, Italy. The curing process for true proscuitto takes upwards of 36 months. It's described as a "work of art". 


The November Carnivore Club box contained 5 good sized products. I can't wait to try the Duck Terrine and the Chobai. Unfortunately I had to toss the Luxxhiken, but the Customer Services experience with Carnivore Club was top notch. They turned a disappointing experience into a great one. I'd recommend Carnivore Club on that alone.

Wine Collective has a great blog post with tips on pairing wines with charcuterie. They are also still offering a promo code to get $10 off your first Carnivore Club box - enter code WC10 at checkout.

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. Aargh, I had the same problem with the mod! But thanks for the review b/c I wouldn't have checked until later this week when I'm serving these items at a party I'm planning. I've just written and hopefully they can fix things before Friday. Everything else looks very good … so far I am very impressed with this box.

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    1. Update: they really DO have wonderful customer service. Thanks again for the heads up on the mold.

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    2. Great! I'm glad it worked out for you too. :)

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  2. I ordered the November box for a Christmas present thank you so much for posting this review so I knew the packaging changed. I contacted customer service to express my concerns with the new packing and that everything would be bad by Christmas. They were wonderful and said to enjoy the box now as it would be fine still and they are sending me a new box to put in the fridge so it will be good until the end of the month. They are planning to go back to the vacuum packing as many people had issues.

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    1. Oh dear! That wouldn't have been a good surprise Christmas morning! Glad they sorted it out for you though.

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  3. 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.

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    1. 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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    2. Sorry to hear about your experience, Chelsey. I also had a problem with mold in one shipment and their customer service was excellent. Maybe you just got that one person who was having a bad day.

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