Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Food Swapping



This past weekend, my husband and I tried something new and decided to check out the Minneapolis Swappers event.  My friend Trinity let me know about the swap, and since she often blogs about yummy and interesting food, I thought I could at the very least swap something with her.  Then I found out that A-K of Swell Vegan was co-hosting and that we would finally be able to meet face to face after years of mutual blog reading and twitter conversation snippets.

So now a little bit about the swap itself.  Basically, if it's edible and you made it, baked it, canned it, or grew it, you could bring it along to swap for something that one of the other swappers has made.  Everyone lays their goods out on a table with sheets of paper that describes the item.  At the bottom of the sheet, swappers make offers such as "I'll trade a jar of strawberry jam for your loaf of banana bread."  The actual swapping is where it got a little frantic.  The space didn't have great traffic flow so it was kind of a mess with people trying to find each other to make the actual swaps. 



I love the idea of the swap, I think it just needs some tweaks here and there to make things run a bit more smoothly.  I think a huge improvement would be to make the item sheets available as  online printables so swappers could fill those out at home.  This would streamline the swap, especially for people who bring lots and lots of stuff to swap, and would hopefully encourage all swappers to include ingredients lists for their items.

I also would have liked a different setup for the tables, often there would be lines of people wanting to look at one can of jam or one loaf of bread because the tables were pushed against the wall and not accessible from all sides.  I know it's tough to work things like that out with a small, not so open space though.



Overall, it was fun to try something new and we even came home with a couple of yummy goodies, a bottle of ginger syrup (we mixed it with some bubbly water for a delicious drink) and a jar of picked jalapenos that I haven't broken into yet.  Unfortunately, all of the other food items we were offered weren't vegan so we had to turn down trades.  But I'd go again and give it another shot for sure, it definitely inspired me to try new recipes!  If you're local, I definitely encourage you to give it a shot and see if it's something you might enjoy.

Have any of you guys ever gone to a food swap like this?

-kala 

14 comments:

CupcakeCatie said...

That sounds really interesting, Ive never heard of anything like that! Gotta love vegan treats :)

missmuffcake said...

I have heard of this idea. I think it would be awesome if there were vegan ones held - that would guarantee some great food to take home!

affectioknit said...

That looks like so much fun!

Stacie said...

I love this! I'd love to attend one in my area. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Kim - Affairs of Living said...

Great feedback! We would like to make the labels available in advance, so you are definitely reading our minds with that one. We'll see if tables can be easily accessed from all sides - that space is trick to work in, so we'll see what we can do!

Please continue to give feedback if you think of more. Thanks again for coming and bringing such wonderful stuff!

Best,
Kim, co-organizer MPLS Swappers

Jamie said...

Cool idea! I've never haerd of a food swap before. Maybe I could give it a try in my area.

A-K said...

I also appreciate the feedback...and it was nice to finally meet face to face! Sorry we couldnt' chat longer (I get a bit socially anxious in large crowds of people). Hope the cashew cheese works out and I plan to bring more stuff to future swaps if you ever want to come back so I actually have something left to trade with you! :)

urban muser said...

i've never heard of such a thing but it sounds cool!

Tana said...

The thought of vegan cashew cheese sounds fascinating to me. Now if you could just get it to squirt out of a can! ;)

Trinity said...

Hi Kala.
I am glad you wrote about your perspective on the swap. I totally agree with you about filling out the forms in advance. I would definitely write more if I filled them at home. It is great that the organizers are on the same page about that.

Hannah said...

I've never done a food swap before, but that looks like so much fun! I wish there was a bigger vegan community in my area... I don't think I would be able to round up enough people as it is. :(

Cassie - Veganfox said...

Wow, I've never done anything like this, but it sounds amazing.

birrrd said...

This idea is new to me and I absolutely like it. Must be a joy to see all that selfmade fresh and tasty food. A pity that there wasn't more vegan stuff for you. Found you today via giveaway and was happy to see a craft and vegan food mixture blog here. :)

Monique said...

I love the idea of this food swap too. The food looks very delicious also!

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