Saturday, June 25, 2016

Food Swap by Emily Paster

Today seems like a good day to go ahead and post a review of Emily Paster's Food Swap: Recipes and Strategies for the Mist Irresistible Gourmet Foods to Barter and Share. Whew, that's a mouthful!

Why is it a good day for this post? Well because tomorrow is the next scheduled meet up for the Mile High Swappers Boulder Food Swap I sometimes participate in! It's even better timing considering our swap is one of the many featured in the book.

Our swap has been around since 2011, something I learned in the book, but I only started attending sporadically in 2014. And I love it! It's a gathering of passionate foodies and a chance to trade homemade goods for other tasty homemade goods. My usual go to: bread! I don't bake it, having been scarred by other baking attempts here, so I always try to make a good trade for a delectable loaf. I always come away with something fabulous, though, whether it's homemade goat cheese, super secret BBQ rub, pickle soup, homemade vinegar, or green chile salsa.

My own contributions usually include some kind of simple syrup (cinnamon is one of my faves, but I've done lavender, mint, and even a gingerbread), a dip of some sort, and an entree when I can (I like the idea that someone can come away from the swap with dinner!). I even made ice cream one year. And I'm always on the hunt for new things that might go over well at the swap, which is why I was quite excited to get my hands on Food Swap!

The book features tips and instructions on arranging and managing your own swap, profiles of swaps around the country, and, of course, recipes! And with those recipes are packaging suggestions, alterations, tips for sampling (because you have to have samples at a swap!), and canning and storage instructions as well.

The recipes (provided by swappers!) range from candies and baked goods to preserves and absolutely verything in-between. A few I plan to try my hand at: Creamy Ricotta, Honey Cinnamon Compound Butter, Beet-Tahini Dip, Blueberry Port Mustard (I'm big on condiments), and Limoncello. Yum!

I love the idea of this book and think that it succeeds in delivering everything it promises. Admittedly I would have loved for the whole thing to be recipes and swap ideas, but that's because I've already got one to attend. If, however, you like the idea of a Food Swap but don't have one in your own hometown, definitely seek this one out, it has absolutely everything you need to start your own. And if you're a swapper looking for new ideas and inspiration, there's plenty here for you too.


Jennifer C said...

Swapping sounds like so much! I need to see if we have an event in my area. Every recipe you mentioned trying sounded incredible. Yum! Thanks for sharing this review and your experience food swapping with us. I'm a wannabe foodie!

Becky LeJeune said...

You should definitely see if there's one in your area! So today I brought mint simple syrup, strawberry simple syrup, a bread and butter zucchini relish, and pickled beets. I came home with a fabulous mediterranean spiced chickpea salad, some kimchi, a panna cotta with lemon curd, seville orange marmalade, a jar of caponata, a blueberry coconut bark, and gazpacho!

Not only was it a great haul but I had a fabulous time AND it was hosted by a local organic farm that traded some of their own produce as part of the swap too. I came home with a lovely bunch of carrots in exchange for one of my simple syrups!