We were recently contacted by Carnivore Club to do a review of their monthly subscription service of artisan cured meats from around the world. Having grown up in an Italian household, we have a great appreciation for cured meats and the amount of work that goes into preparing them and we are delighted to provide this review.
We want to be transparent and honest in expressing our own opinions about this service and its products. Nonna’s Way was not paid to provide this review but Carnivore Club did give us the product at no charge in order to write our review.
A big thank you to Alche Design from Mount Pleasant, Ontario for the beautiful charcuterie board they gave us to make this rocking charcuterie board! Check them out at www.alchedesign.com. They use Ontario FSC certified lumber and unique wood products reclaimed from local barns and homesteads to make one of a kind pieces that are sure to impress any dinner crowd.
Nonna’s Way assistant, Jennifer Romano, set up this beautiful and bountiful charcuterie board featuring all of the wonderful Carnivore Club meats of the month we received.
(Orecchiette Pasta with cherry tomatoes and spicy fennel salami)
What is Carnivore Club and How Does It Work:
Carnivore Club is a subscription based cured meat of the month club. Beautifully packaged in a faux-wood sturdy box, each month features 4-6 meats from top artisans all over the world and each month this changes. What a great way to taste a variety of unique and cured meats from different countries that you may never discover on your own.
You can choose to receive the boxes monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly at a cost of $50/box. Or try it out for one month at a one-time cost of $55. The one-time purchase is perfect as a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person! You can choose the month(s) you wish to receive it in so if you have a special event or holiday with guests coming over, you can make an impressive charcuterie board and be a hit at your own party. We definitely love the ease of ordering and flexibility of delivery options they offer.
We waited with anticipation after receiving an email notification that our package was shipped and it was delivered right to our doorstep!
If you can’t stand surprises, you can check out their social media to get a glimpse of what’s in the next delivery.
What we received:
The box we reviewed contained meats from two suppliers: Redondo Iglesias from Spain and Urbani Foods from British Columbia. We had never heard of either of these brands but each box comes with a beautifully designed pamphlet providing a brief description of each of the meats as well as interesting facts about the supplier. From this month’s flyer, we learned that the Iberico Jamon (ham) is considered a national treasure in Spain and wasn’t even available for purchase in North America until 2007!
We were very fortunate to sample Serrano Jamon and Iberia Jamon de Bellota from Redondo Iglesias imported from Spain and from Urbani Foods right here in Canada, we received Fig Toscano Salami and Spicy Fennel Salami.
Fig Toscano Salami:
Immediately, you get a subtle cinnamon flavour followed by a slight sweetness from the fig. In fact, you may not even taste the fig until you get the odd fig seed crunching between your teeth and then it hits you – in a good way! This salami was a little sweeter than we are used to but was a great addition to our charcuterie board.
As with any cured meat in a casing, be sure to peel back the casing before slicing, just sayin:)
Spicy Fennel Salami:
We loved this one so much that we featured it in our recipe, Orecchiette with Spicy Fennel Salami and Cherry Tomatoes. This reminds us most of how our dads and nonnos make their cured meats. This salami was not too dry, nice and chewy, and leaves you with a spicy hit at the end.
At first glance, we fully expected this to taste like classic Italian prosciutto, but we were wrong! We thoroughly enjoyed this. It is dryer than prosciutto and has a sweeter flavour. So interesting to see and taste what different people do with the same cut of meat! Pleasantly, it left us wanting a glass of red wine.
Iberico Jamon de Bellota:
Wow is all we can say! We feel so fortunate to have been able to sample this exquisite cured ham. We immediately recognized its delicate texture and nutty flavour. It is unbelievably tender and flavourful. From the enclosed pamphlet, we read that this ham is known to many as the best ham in the world and we have to say it is certainly one of our favorites. This ham is cured for a minimum of 36 months. The Iberian pigs have free range over oak forests eating only acorns for part of their life, explaining the distinguishable nutty flavour this ham has. We may never have known about or sampled this luxurious ham, had it not been for this month’s Carnivore Club box.
We love the concept and waited with anticipation to receive the package. Once delivered, Carnivore Club did not disappoint. Unravelling the packaging and contents was exciting and the effort that went into the assembly and presentation does not go unnoticed. Being able to have a taste of world renowned cured meats was a real treat that left us with only one question – where do we get more!
Anticipation. Great presentation. Quality products. Unique. Highly recommend.
We made this orecchiette pasta dish using the spicy fennel salami from Moccia Urbani, fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. It’s a super quick recipe and so fresh and flavourful. In fact, it was a hit with the whole family! Of course, you can substitute other cured meats if you cannot get your hands on the spicy fennel salami.
Orecchiette Pasta with Spicy Fennel Salami and Cherry Tomatoes
- 250 gr orecchiette pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup, well packed, diced Spicy Fennel Salami
- 5-6 large leaves of basil (or as much as desired), thinly sliced
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese
- pinch of hot chili flakes (optional)
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the pasta according to the package instructions or until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, place the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
- Fry the diced sausage for 2-3 or just until lightly crisped.
- Add the garlic and basil and saute for 1 minute before adding the chopped tomatoes. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes soften.
- Once the pasta is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and add to the tomato-sausage mixture. Gently stir over medium-high meat for 2 minutes to combine and add 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese while mixing. Add a bit of the pasta water if it is too dry.
- Serve immediately and top with the remaining parmesan cheese.
- We added salt only to the pasta water as the salami and parmesan cheese impart their own saltiness to the mixture.