Everyone has heard of beer- and wine-of-the-month clubs, or those Harry & David fruit-of-the-month deals where six peaches come wrapped up as carefully as porcelain. But did you know about these food clubs?
Chip of the Month Club: AnchorsFoodFinds owner Anchor O'Reilly has a real thing for small-batch chips: "we have searched this country from coast to coast to find the last of a dying breed…the small, hometown, independent Chipper," he writes on the company's site. "Of the many, many hundred Chippers of yesteryear, there are only 200 or so left. Anchor's has sought out these independent companies and nurtured relationships with those remaining, in the hopes of supporting their ventures amidst the 'Big Guys.'" Love it! Every month, for about $30 to $40 (depending on how many months you sign up for), subscribers get six bags of chips hand-selected by O'Reilly, interesting things like Utz's crab chips, or Route 11's hot-and-spicy Mama Zuma habanero chips.
Pickle of the Month Club: For $40 a month ($55 for first-time subscribers), well-regarded Los Angeles pickle-maker Jen Smith packs up five jars of preserves each month according to what's ripe and her own whims. Subscribers may get Smith's greatest-hits products like dilly beans and bread and butter pickles, or more unusual items like pickled Brussels sprouts, okra, or watermelon rind. If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can pick up your jars at Smith's monthly pickle party or get them delivered for $10 a drop. Live somewhere other than Los Angeles? You can still order, but the shipping is going to be murder.
igourmet's Connoisseur of the Month Club: The Internet retailer, a Chowhound favorite, has clubs for tea, coffee, oils, etc. But its Connoisseur club (about $30 per month) is the best choice for all-around gourmands, since different months will focus on different themes. You might get a high-tea month, for instance, with fancy tea, scones, clotted cream, and jam, or a tapas month with Spanish olives, piquillo peppers, chorizo, and Marcona almonds.
Organic Potato of the Month Club Sampler: If all you've been cooking with are russets, you're missing out. Each eight-pound monthly shipment from Wood Prairie Farm in Maine includes three different types of potatoes, with a postcard describing each one and how to best use it. The club runs from September until April, and potato-lovers can order from one to eight months at a time. Pink potatoes! Who knew?