You can rarely list the good decisions you’ve after too many old-fashioneds. I’m fortunate to say, I can name two. The Community Supported Pig is one of them. And upon every pick up, as I gleefully walk away on clouds with a bag of goodies in hand, I think about the fateful night I was bellied up to the chef’s table at Cobble Hill and decided to sign up for their CSP.
The CSP format is similar to a CSA (community supported agriculture/farm share). You pay a set amount at the beginning of the season and sign yourself up for a determined amount of time where you receive a share of curated food. In the case of the Cobble Hill CSP, we signed up for pig. And not just pig in the traditional sense, but an exploratory, experimental, varietal offering of all of the pig parts. The pork products paired with fresh breads, and garden accoutrements, ensures that with each pick up you will be able to create a charcuterie plate in the privacy of your own home.
With best intentions, I justified this purchase as something I would share with loved ones at a dinner parties, or reunited with friends I rarely get the opportunity to see. In real life, I devour the loaf of bread alone, consume an entire brick of cheese and salami for dinner, or bring it to a party and sheepishly dodge the astonished accusation, “did you make this?!” The pickled vegetables are finished in one opening, the giardiniera is eaten with a spoon.
As we are on the downhill slope, I reflect on this impulse purchase monthly. I’ll admit, some of my favorite parts of the CSP I could not have anticipated. The personal, descriptive emails written by the chef and James Beard Award Midwest Semifinalist, Andy Schumacher, are some of the best emails I’ve ever received. These are read aloud in my office and we swoon together. Sneaking into the restaurant during off hours to be handed a bag of food by the chefs that made it, is a connection you can’t get when a waitress and table are between the two. And I’m eating local produce in ways I would’ve never expected, or ever discovered on my own.
Would I make the purchase again? Absolutely. And as I finish my brioche bread, green tomato kimchi, and pate champagne tonight, I’ll think about the other decision I made after too many old-fashioneds and how happy both of them make me.
Details for first CSP below. The sixth and final installment was delivered last week. New CSP signups to be announced soon.
Update: 2nd opportunity at CSP released tomorrow.