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The Chicago Food Swap has moved around the Chicago area in its short life but we have yet to hold a swap in the city itsef. All that will change with our October Food Swap. Our host for this event is Pinch Spice Market, a beautiful spice shop in the heart of trendy Bucktown. You will be tantalized by the wide selection of organic and fair trade spices, but especially by Pinch's proprietary blends, like authentic Ethiopian Berbere and Ras El Hanout.
For those of you who are new to the Chicago Food Swap, here are some FAQ:
What's a food swap?
Food swaps bring together passionate home cooks, bakers, canners, and gardeners to trade their homemade and homegrown edible goods. Show off your toothsome creations, stock your pantry, and be inspired all while meeting other like-minded individuals.
Who can participate?
All the participants are individuals trading goods that they made or grew themselves. You do not have to be a gourmet cook to come! As long as you can make one item worth swapping, you are welcome to join us. Some examples of popular food swap items include jams, pickles, salsa or relishes, baked goods, granola, spice mixes, drink mixes or syrups, and homegrown vegetables or herbs. It is free to participate but you must pre-register. Feel free to bring samples for tasting.
How does it work?
First, swappers set up with their wares -- please keep in mind that people will want to examine your goods, so package them accordingly. You may bring as many items as you like. Smaller sizes are easier to swap. Swappers fill out a swap card for each different item that they intend to swap. So for example, if you bring five jars of strawberry jam and three jars of dilly beans, you would fill out two swap cards: one for the jam and one for beans. The swap card lists what the item is, the ingredients it contains (being mindful of food allergies) and suggested uses, if applicable. Download a copy of the swap card (courtesy of the East Bay CA Food Swaps) here.
After the items are set up, everybody circulates around the room. Interested parties offer bids on the swap cards for each item, but these are just to open discussion. The first 45 minutes or so is spent circulating and making offers on swap cards and then the actual swapping begins. For this reason, It is really helpful if people arrive on time!
Remember: You are not obligated to swap with anyone, even if you bid on his/her item or he/she bids on yours. Actual swapping takes place through discussion and agreement. No money changes hands. All swaps are by barter only.
To Learn More:
To stay abreast of all the latest Chicago Food Swap news, you can check out our website, find us on Facebook or subscribe to our Twitter feed. You can also read about food swaps in other cities such as Los Angeles, Austin or Philadelphia to get a better sense of the mission.
Please be aware that all goods are made in home kitchens by private individuals, not professionals. We expect all swappers to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and food safety in the preparation of their items. Nevertheless, by participating in the swap you acknowledge that the items available are not made in licensed kitchens or inspected by any government agency. The Chicago Food Swap does not provide any guarantees or assurances about the safety of the swap items.