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food swap food-recipe ideas

What have been some successful foods/recips at your food swaps? I just went to my first one, and my foods [which I thought were fabulous] were received with a "meh," I hoped y'all might have ideas for a more succesful swap.

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  1. Forget about the "meh" response. Food swaps are not contests, they're an opportunity to experience different foods and learn something in the process. Having someone else provide a recipe for a food swap you might be involved with is akin to fortune telling. I'd have no idea what your cooking experience is, what ingredients you are completely familiar with, etc. My suggestion is to understand that most of the food swap crowd is looking for something exotic; not mundane. Anyone at the food swap can probably prepare a tuna casserole so that's not what they're looking for at a food swap. However, a piece of Ahi that's been marinated and prepared with a sesame seed crust would be a temptation they may not be able to resist.

    1. You'll need to provide more info. What did you contribute, and what were the dishes that DID seem to be well-received? You need to know your "audience".

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        I'm not so interested in a rehash of what I brought than I am in ideas for what other people have brought that were well received, so that I would have some ideas for the future.

        1. re: Guenevere

          Every crowd is different. Unless we can figure out the dynamics of your crowd it will be difficult to give advice. For example, many dishes that are well received at luncheons at work would fall flat with my foodie friends and so on.

        1. I have never been to a food and recipe swap. Under the right conditions, it sounds like it would be a lot of fun. I would think the people that would go to one would be fairly high end cooks and some of them would be rather snobbish. At best, they would be hoping to see something they hadn't seen before. I think the trick would be finding a food swap that involves regular home cooks... a ladies church group perhaps.... a group of friends.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hank Hanover

            I agree .....
            Some of them tend to be competitive rather than a friendly exchange of food and ideas. I prefer the latter.

          2. i've only done 1 1/2 (the 1/2 was called a swap, but more like a potluck, as each person was instructed to bring enough to trade with everyone...)
            for the 1/2, IIRC i brought homemade vanilla, and homemade lavash crackers and some other cracker and homemade cheese. no noses turned. not all that crazy, but a little more novel, as these weren't things that this crowd normal had homemade.
            the other swap, i did pint sized two kinds of curry, one eggplant and i forget the other, and naan... went over well. a few professed to "not do curry," said ubiquitously as if "curry" means one specific flavor/dish, the same way one might say, "i don't like milk."

            live and learn. know your audience.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Emme

              I did kimchi and homemade flavored yogurts and biscotti. Lavash sounds good. and I do make my own vanilla, so I could package it. The most in demand were indian foods, which were, in fact amazing. It was fun, but I was just looking for more ideas

              1. re: Emme

                One person I tried to swap couldn't really hide her look of disdain when I suggested a trade. Kind of funny, actually , if I hadn't felt a wee bit sensitive.

              2. Based on what I have learned from this thread, I don't think I would arrange something like this. I wouldn't call it a food swap. I would arrange a pot luck but you have to bring the recipe to whatever you bring and it has to be home made.

                You have your food out and on another table, you have the recipes. If someone is interested in the recipe, they can take a copy. If not... Oh well.

                I think that would prevent some of the competitiveness and any mismatches in skill level. It would also prevent you from feeling like you have to bring something that no one has seen before.

                1. I really enjoy food swaps. And the definition the group I participate in have pre-set guidelines so that the swap is clear, fair and fun. This is not the time to "wing it" because you could wind up losing money and patience.

                  Our group discusses (via email) recipe ideas and categories, everything is jarred. Sweet, savory and something unique. The $ limit is established and we confirm an agree upon list. Then we get together at a pre-determined spot and enjoy the swap. Each jar on each table includes a tester, a recipe file and a price. We also enjoy a buffet lunch (small but nice) together. Everyone leaves with something but we also leave with leftover unsold jars. Many of us sell our goods elsewhere but we gain a good deal of helpful feedback from swapping.

                  Some of the hits and misses include:
                  Hits: james, jellies, pickled veggies, curds, chutney, spreads and dips
                  Misses: anything way too over spiced (even for some of our supertasters), those cookies/cakes in a jar ( a disaster, they don't keep well), jars that wound up visually unappealing (no matter how good they taste).

                  Swaps are swaps, not potlucks. Some swaps are barters (with no $ charged) and others are strictly selling goods. Every group differs and you can meet some pretty interesting people by enjoying food swaps. Like I said, I love em.

                  1. http://www.foodinjars.com/
                    If you're interested in food swaps that involve jarring, this blog and the authors new cookbook are outstanding for both recipe basics, inspiration and technique.