Monday, February 18, 2013

Countryside Conservacy's Monthly Food Swap

Review: Countryside Conservancy's Monthly Food Swap
by Brit Charek

Last month I was lucky enough to make it to the Food Swap at Uncorked Wine Bar hosted by Countryside Conservancy. They hold Food Swaps the third Tuesday of each month. The next swap will be held tomorrow, at Uncorked Wine Bar downtown starting at 6pm. If you're interested in participating, you can register by clicking here and filling out this form. To keep up with Countryside Conservancy's upcoming events, including Farmer's Markets and Local Mixers for Foodies and Farmers, make sure to "like" their Facebook page.

Look at the bag of goodies one swapper left with! 
So what exactly is a Food Swap? Basically, everyone brings some food items to trade and then you spend a couple hours bidding on what you'd like to trade your items to get. For more details, check out my post from last month.

Ok, so I compiled a list of advice for newbie food swappers:

1. Don't go overboard.
Make a surplus of one or two items-- that way it's clear what options are available to those who you want to swap with. For example, we took chocolate zucchini cupcakes and packaged them in boxes of four. The portions should be something comparable to an 8 oz jar of jam or something that costs $5.

2. Label your ingredients, on each package!
We made the mistake of only bringing one list of ingredients, which might have limited who wanted to swap with us. Which leads me to my next point...

3. Keep in mind who you might want to swap with!
If you want some of Ms. Julie's famous vegan kale chips, she's not going to want any of your stuff if there's dairy product in it! Mind you, this is not a vegan food swap, but if you want to swap with people with dietary restrictions (who doesn't have one these days?) then you'll have to be accommodating. The next time I food swap, I plan to take something gluten-free in addition to whatever I decide to take.

4. Don't be sensitive!
If you take three dozen chocolate zucchini cupcakes, the worst that could possibly happen is that you come home with three dozen chocolate zucchini cupcakes, which are your favorite. You wouldn't have prepared them if you didn't love them.
For our eight packages of cupcakes, we left with: chocolate covered pretzels, rice pudding, tequila lime butter (terrific on popcorn!), a loaf of handmade multi-grain bread, dried basil and a jar of jam. Plus we had a package left to share with new friends over a glass of post-swap wine. (Did I mention this takes place at a Wine Bar?)

5. Cute packaging makes a difference.
The type of people who come to these events are often professionals who are used to packaging up their stuff or crafty people who read cute blogs about what to take to a food swap. Take a minute to invest in packaging your goods. If you need some ideas, consult Pintrest.

6. Bring extra product for sampling.
That way, potential bidders can see how much they need your item.

7. Above all else, have fun.

Countryside Conservancy's next Food Swap is tomorrow, Tuesday February 19 at Uncorked Wine Bar (22 N. High Street downtown Akron) The swap starts at 6 pm and lasts about two hours.

1 comment:

  1. How cool! I was chatting a couple nights ago with a girl I met in my town that organizes events foodie-friendly events... I think I'm going to suggest food swaps!