It’s a food swap and it’s coming – again – to the OB Women’s Club this Saturday, July 16. A group calling itself San Diego Food Swap has started a monthly get together, where jams are traded for meat pastries, sauces for fruit, and so on. The group has a website here, where you can RSVP and tell them what you’re bringing. Saturday’s swap begins at 2pm and lasts till 4, at the Club house located at 2160 Bacon Street.
Here’s how it works (taken right off their website):
Step 1: What do you like to cook or grow?
Decide what you will bring to the event and plan accordingly. We welcome any home-cooked item or homegrown produce, as well as homemade soaps and toiletries, pet food, etc.
Please plan to bring enough for swapping as well as something for people to sample during the event. Feel free to bring more than one item.
RSVP and sign up for the event. Fill out a signup sheet on this website and email it (as an attachment or cut-and-paste) to Hillary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell your friends! The more the merrier. And everyone has something they make well.
“Like” us on Facebook so you can upload photos from this event and learn about the next event!
Step 3: At the event:
At the event, you will be able to meet with fellow swappers and swap your items according to your own arrangements. You can decide the terms of each trade.
Please bring enough of each submission to trade and to sample.
Don’t forget to decorate and label each item for swapping. Please attach to each item a recipe card or list of ingredients, PARTICULARLY if the item is made with a common allergen (like nuts, milk, etc.) or if it is vegan or vegetarian.
The Honor Code
This is a community event. It goes without saying that the participants are using the highest cleanliness standards in their own kitchens and gardens to prepare their submissions. Nevertheless …
By participating in this event, you are acknowledging that the food items being traded are not necessarily prepared in any “approved” kitchen or space inspected by any government agency.
By participating in this event, you are also acknowledging that you will use the highest standards of cleanliness in food preparation.
Swappers are allowed to bring and swap homemade beer and alcoholic beverages. Sampling the alcohol is also allowed, but please be responsible!
Hillary Condon’s first attempt at introducing San Diego to a trend that’s sweeping other U.S. cities didn’t go so well. Only a small handful of do-it-yourself foodies made a showing at her first San Diego Food Swap event in Point Loma during Easter weekend, but Condon is confident it’s an idea that will take root here. She is planning to hold monthly food swaps, where sticky-sweet jams are traded for handmade empanadas, or jars of tasty Bolognese sauce are bartered for candied citrus peels.
For the first swap, Belinda Aguilar and her friend Erika Cabral spent hours making tasty chicken curry empanadas, filling a large basket. The pastries were a nod to Cabral’s father, who passed away a few years ago. “My dad’s from Argentina. He always made them, so when he passed away, it was something I wanted to carry on,” she said.
In the meantime, it was Aguilar’s idea to add curry to the flavor profile. Turns out that was a good call. The empanadas were mouthwateringly delicious and would be a coveted trade at the day’s event.
The second swap, held in early June at the Ocean Beach Women’s Club, grew slightly in attendance, but Condon says she’s hoping to see it reach a robust 20 to 30 participants. (Upcoming events are this Saturday and Aug. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m., also at the Ocean Beach Women’s Club on Bacon Street.)
Condon isn’t alone in the trend-spotting. Hillary Noyes of Slow Food Urban San Diego organized the group’s first food swap at the Linkery on June 12. About a dozen people spent the afternoon swapping treats, including homemade salsas and jars of refried beans, jams and marmalades, chocolate mousse layer cakes, homemade strawberry ice cream, paté de fruits and balls of homemade pizza dough made with organic flour and local oregano.
“Someone even brought Meyer lemons and fig leaves from their garden, and then taught everyone how to use the fig leaves to make packages for grilling fish,” said Noyes. “We think (food swapping) is a great way to come together to highlight the community’s passion for local foods by sharing all the amazing things they’re creating at home.”
Food swapping has already caught on in other cities. The best known is in Brooklyn, which has a zealous D.I.Y. food community and a thriving exchange trend led by BK Swappers, started by Kate Payne and Megan Paska. But similar events are percolating in plenty of other cities, including Los Angeles; San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis; Madison, Wis.; and Austin, Texas.
For many, the draw is discovering recipes treasured by like-minded foodies. At least it was for Jared D’Onofrio, a high school English teacher at The Francis Parker School who attended Condon’s events.
“It was the idea of finding a recipe I’m interested in and want to steal,” he said. “And coming across really fresh food that people made in their homes? That was a draw, too.”
D’Onofrio brought warm jars of his great-grandmother’s Bolognese sauce to the first swap but said next time he’s planning on adding a second batch for vegetarians, who weren’t interested in the meat version. He also thinks the timing of a food swap movement is ripe.
“It reminds me of when the North Park Farmers Market started with only four booths.” he said. “Now it’s a two-block affair. Everything’s got to start someplace.”