There is no doubt that food swaps are becoming extremely popular.
In 2010, two women in Brooklyn, known for being voracious canners, started BK Swappers. With some publicity, this unique venture became a nationwide movement. Today, you can find food swaps all across the country and in a variety of venues.
There is even a convenient Food Swap Network which acts as a one-stop location where information regarding food swaps can be found as well as the perfect way to help create a food sharing community.
On Sunday, Sur la Table, located at 900 N. Michigan Ave., hosted the monthly Chicago Food Swap. The event took place in the facility's demonstration kitchen.
I participated in the event and brought my bacon jam and some home blended spice mixtures. There were approximately 50 people who attended, all coming to share various types of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
There was a wide range of packaging that included everything from simple paper plates covered with plastic wrap to cloth bags and pretty boxes. Labeling ran the same type of gamut with fancy printed labels to simple handwritten labels.
One of the fun parts of this event is the chance to meet a wide range of people who have a common interest in good food. After all, foodies love to get together and talk about food.
Some helpful tips and advice:
• Stay clear of bringing large items like full sized pies and cakes. Bring cupcakes or slice individual pieces of cake and wrap them for swapping. Pies are best made in individual servings. Most other items should be easy to transport. Ensure fragile items such as cookies are packages to prevent breakage.
• Label food items, including all ingredients.
• People are going to be interested in your food. Come prepared to answer questions.
• If you have food items that are not canned, be sure to include safe handling information. People need to know whether an item should be refrigerated or not.