Kelly the Culinarian: November Chicago Food Swap Recap

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November Chicago Food Swap Recap

My set up
Best food swap ever! I've only been to one other gathering of the Chicago Food Swap, but this was pretty epic. It was at The Chopping Block in the Merchandise Mart, which gave us a 15 percent discount and offered up complimentary coffee throughout the swap. What nice hosts. I found cheap on-street parking that was close and set out to set up.
Too cute

There were 85 swappers last week and I snagged a spot at the front of the room to set up. This swap, I brought the last of my square foot garden produce, which was three giant heads of Chinese cabbage. I also packed up four Kombucha starters and eight half-pint jars of my sugar-free spiced apple butter. As I learned from my first swap, it's a good idea to go with a variety of items individually packaged in an inexpensive, but attractive, manner. The jars for the apple butter were free courtesy of Katie at Live Half Full, so this swap was full of win for me. I went with custom QR tags again this time and had such a great time talking to the other swappers.

There were so many unique, delicious, gourmet treats and bites at this swap that I didn't know where to look first. People really upped the ante this month - there were gorgeous displays, beautiful labels and, of course, great food. I saw several types of kombucha, paleo donuts, lots of allergy-sensitive offerings and even dog treats! I was stuffed from all the sampling before I ever left the swap.
So what'd I get?  Lots:
A closer look at the individual treats:
Honeycomb toffee, Mexican hot chocolate donuts, pumpkin spice marshmallows, savory focaccia, challah, homemade twix cupcakes and a bag of kahlua brownies and caramel chocolate chip brownie

Peppermint mocha hot chocolate mix, cranberry conserve, homemade regular and jalapeno cheddar pretzels, pumpkin spice syrup, bulgogi kimbop, root beer concentrate, red pepper walnut dip, blueberry chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter buckeyes 
So, you can see it was a great balance of sweet versus savory, gourmet versus familiar. It took us a few days to get through the non-shelf stable stuff and I have to say, it's a good thing this swap is only once a month, or else I might get diabetes. It also helps that the swap was the same day as my 10K PR, so calories don't count, right?

The next swap is Dec. 7 and I'm already plotting my plan of attack. Hope to see you there!


Losing Lindy said...

So cool! Too bad they don't do one in the suburbs too.

BTW are you getting meat next weekend? We will be there if you need us to pick it up for you.

Unknown said...

There was a lot of candy at that swap! I love how you brought all this healthy stuff and came home with all these sweets!

KellytheCulinarian said...

I'm going to have to skip this month's shipment, we're all full!