On Saturday I had the opportunity to attend my first food swap. I heard about the swap from one of my friends who happened to be a co-organizer. From Scratch Club regularly holds swaps in Troy and Schenectady/Saratoga Springs, but this swap was in the small town of Cambridge, NY. Apparently the bigger events can have as many as 60 people, but our group was just 7, which was a good size for a first timer like me.
I arrived and set up my space with 7 baggies of four Orange Dark Chocolate Scones each and put out a plate of samples for people to try. I chose these scones because oranges are in season, they’re easy to make and I think they taste amazing
Even though our group was small, I was so impressed by the selection of products. There were jams and homemade ricotta and water kefir and soup and more. I would’ve been happy to take home anything. We sampled the options for a while, then began making the rounds and signing up for the items we’d like to swap for. Signing up didn’t obligate us or the person who made the food to actually swap, but signaled our interest.
In the end I came home with caramel popcorn with peanuts and cranberries mixed in, tomato soup, carrot and beet salad, spiced apple butter, triple ginger apple jelly and fresh ricotta. I think I was somewhat hampered by bringing scones—some people were gluten free (which I hadn’t really thought about) and others just didn’t seem interested. Still, I managed to trade 5 of my bags and I was happy with that. We ate the soup for dinner the other night and have just about used up the ricotta. Both of them are incredible. It’s a whole new spin on knowing where my food comes from.
The Cambridge swap is supposed to be a regular event. I’m definitely planning to attend whenever possible. It was so fun to meet people who care even more about food than I do and chat with them about local products. I’m also intrigued about the Albany/Troy swaps, apparently they’re somewhat chaotic but there is amazing selection.