I have to admit I was nervous about the Food Swap…I loved the concept, I really did! And I knew it had the potential to be incredibly fun, but I was nervous about bringing something myself. Food is such a personal thing; it was strange to realize how the thought of my food being rejected by other swappers literally gave me cold sweats. So, with the thinly veiled excuse that I’d had a really ‘hectic’ week, I walked into the swap empty handed and decided to just check it out. Biggest mistake I made all week.
First, there were tables of delicious food and drink. (Yes! Home brewed beer!) And samples. Lots and lots of samples. But, alas, I had nothing to trade, so I could try all I wanted. I could not, however, take anything home. It’s really tough to describe how depressing it was to know that after walking in and seeing all of the food and drink available, nothing was coming home with me.
So, here’s how it works. When you come in (if you are smart enough to bring food), you get a table and set up your wares. You fill out a short form listing what your food is and any pertinent information you want to share (is it gluten-free, vegan, chock full of peanuts, etc). Below your description are spots for other swappers to bid on your item. After you set up your table and samples, you’re free to walk around and check out everyone else’s goodies. If you see something you like, you put your name on their form and what you’re willing to trade for it. Really want that bottle of organic honey? You can try to coax the swap by offering 2 bottles of beer.
After everyone has had a chance to check everything out, the swapping begins. There’s no rule that you have to trade (so if you’re a vegetarian, you don’t have to accept the homemade beef jerky offer someone made for your premium apple butter). It’s very easy going and friendly. As far as I could tell, there were no fist fights or tears as the trades took place.
I can’t do justice to the wide variety of food and drink that was available at the swap, but I can tell you that it was amazing and delicious. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and it was just as low pressure as founder Mary Willems-Akers had promised. The next swap is June 22nd, so if you want to see what I bring after spending the next 2 months agonizing over it, join us at Wunderkammer. Don’t forget registration is required for participation via this link: www.0614swap.eventbrite.com and participation is limited to 35 registrants, so put your name in quickly to ensure you’ve got a spot.
June NEI Food Swap June 22, 2014 12:30-2:00 pm Wunderkammer Company 3402 Fairfield Ave Fort Wayne IN 46807