The Carnivore Club is a unusual take on the Christmas gift basket. Instead of an assortment of loosely themed what-nots that may or may not hit the right note with your audience, you’ve got a big ol’ box of meat. Not just any meat—it’s not like raw steaks are being delivered to your door—but specialty cured meats and terrines that are often organic and always artisanal. It manages to appeal to both the glutton and the gourmet.
You can order a one-time Christmas box for a friend or colleague, or, if you wish to firmly cement yourself in the mind and heart of a meat-lover, you can purchase a subscription for $50 a month. Carnivore Club has launched on both sides of the border, so you can order gifts for friend and family in the States. Canadians will not receive the US version, because getting foodstuffs, especially handcrafted ones, across the border is apparently a nightmarish endeavour, but the Carnivore Club is constantly searching across Canada for the specialty craftsmen that make their monthly offerings.
My November box—which looked about the size of a board game before I opened it—contained prosciutto di Parma, which one might expect. My husband has family in Parma, and as he is a great lover of prosciutto, there was no disappointment here, and it was declared to be as delicious as one might expect. There was also a Hungarian-style smoked sausage named Chobai, another dried and salted pork from Italy and one from Switzerland, both with a unique texture and taste, and a duck terrine from Quebec, which is no doubt meant for entertaining but in my house is smushed into a baguette with some lettuce and called lunch.
The packaging was not quite as elegant as the vacuum packed selection portrayed here. The little containers were disappointingly reminiscent of an airplane meal, but happily bore no resemblance in taste. When I chatted with company founder Tim Ray, I asked him why someone might order from Carnivore Club rather than head down to their local charcuterie and have a more elegant looking tray made up. He made the point that when he partners with local suppliers like the Cheese Boutique, they offer him meats that are not available at the counter, so as to keep his supply “exclusive and rare.” And of course you don’t mind bringing your own selection to a party, but I for one am not about to mail anybody a box of meat on my own. I’ve let the experts do it for me, and all I had to do was point and click. I have to imagine this has great appeal as a gift for a business associate, provided they are not vegetarian, or that dad or uncle that always has whatever the heck it is he wants, already. I’m hoping my Carnivore Club gifts will be received with delight and amusement, as you might expect when a box of meat arrives in the mail.
LAST DAY FOR XMAS ORDERS: Dec.15th!!!
Delivery is available all across Canada.
The promotional videos well executed but with an exclusive appeal to the Old Boys Club. They reflect the desire of the presumed male consumer more than those who might actually be buying them (who does the Christmas shopping in your house?), unless the boys are buying for their mates or colleagues. But as a woman who loves unique, handmade foods, I’m willing to endure to a little mockery for the sake of the having treats delivered to my door. Hoping next round of ads are a little less divisive. See below. Love it or hate it?
The only other suggestion I’d make at present is a selection of sizes box, or a choice of packages, which may appear as the company grows.