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The Best Bay Area Food, By Subscription Only

The CSA model has long been championed as the sustainable food lovers best way to get a piece of the action. Beginning with vegetable boxes, this direct-to-consumer approach eliminates the middle-man, putting consumers directly in touch with producers and ensuring that farmers have a home for the crops they raise.

And while vegetable CSA boxes are old news, the subscription model has since been extended to meat, cheese and, now, pastries, preserves, confections and savory breads. That's right—Tell Tale Preserve Company, the latest project from pastry chef extraordinaire William Werner (last seen at Quince) is launching the "Tell Tale Society," a monthly sack of goodies, to change with the seasons. Your $35 subscription entitles you to a monthly haul, which can be picked up or delivered to your door.

Inside Scoop also reported on Ryan Farr's new meat CSA, which will launch over Labor Day weekend. For a monthly fee of $60, you'll get a "ready to cook" piece of meat (either grass-fed beef or pork), three beer sausages, three cheddar bratwurst, four hot dogs and three bags of chicharrones. Having sampled many of these meaty delights, I can report that this is a great deal. The first CSA coolers will be ready on September 4, just in time for your Labor Day cookouts. A pre-ordered cooler is $60; starting next Monday, you can order by calling 415-255-3094. Some will also be available for pick-up at the 4505 Meats' market stand on Saturday, September 4, for $70.

I'm sort of liking the idea of a subscription-only shopping list—if I joined Tell Tale's society and 4505 Meats' CSA and supplemented the haul with either trips to the farmers market or a vegetable CSA, I could be in food—great, local, seasonal, small-batch food—for the entire month without ever darkening the door of a supermarket.