Sunday, June 5, 2016

REVIEW: Food Swap by Emily Paster


Whether your goal is to start your own community food swap, or just make delicious treats to share with family and friends, this is the book you need! Part cookbook, part how-to guide, Food Swap features more than 80 recipes for artisanal items that will be coveted at food swaps and adored as gifts, including preserves, baked goods, granolas, cheeses, pestos, roasted nuts, flavored salts, and specialty spices -- everything from salted caramel sauce and Meyer lemon curd to green tomato salsa, lavender shortbread, cultured butter, apricot jalapeno jelly, and rum vanilla extract. You'll also find creative ways to irresistibly package your items, and the book even includes perforated gift tags ready for personalization. Finally, author Emily Paster -- co-founder of the Chicago Food Swap, one of the biggest in the world -- offers guidance on setting up a food swap in your own community, as well as inspiring stories from people who are part of this growing movement.

Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Storey Publishing, LLC
ISBN 1612125638 (ISBN13: 9781612125633)

 Check out the author's website

My Thoughts

I've always been fascinated with the idea of growing my own food and a pantry and refrigerator full of homemade goodies, and then trading my goods with others who do the same. Unfortunately I'm not very good at growing things (I don't quite have a black thumb, but I can't compete with the Florida heat to allow most things to thrive and produce, especially anytime outside of winter and fall). But I still hold out hope for myself.

I have dabbled a little with homemade food stuffs. I've canned jelly and relish, made spiced nuts, fresh butter and farmer's cheese. And doing so has just assured me that I'd like to do more of it! But you always wind up with much more than a single person can eat, and you just want to share. Enter the food swap!

At a food swap, attendees bring homemade foods (or sometimes crafts) to trade with others. It's a good way to fill your pantry with a variety of items rather than just a couple of things, and to be exposed to items you may have never thought about trying otherwise.

This book explains what a food swap is, has examples of food swaps held across the country, strategies for hosting a successful swap (or for just being a successful attendee), and then provides a large selection of recipes for popular food swap-type foods, and is filled with lovely photos. Try some Salted Caramel Sauce (great drizzled over ice cream) or Lavender Shortbread. Swap some Kale and Onion Miniature Frittatas. Or how about some Tuscan White Bean and Rosemary Dip to share? I'm eager to try the Citrus Curd (a great choice here in Florida), and the book informs us that granola (like the Cherry-Almond Granola in the book) is always a big hit at swaps.

My final word: This book did the job. I've always been intrigued by the idea of "food swapping" and preserving foods and self-sustaining methods. I got this book to explore one of those ideas a little further, and it fueled the fire with its wealth of information, lovely photography, and taste bud tantalizing recipes. I got a free review copy of this book through Netgalley, but I will be buying a copy to add to my permanent library. A great introduction to the food swap phenomenon!

Buy Now:
Barnes and Noble

My Rating:

The Cerebral Girl is a forty-something blogger just digging her way out from under a mountain of books in the deep south of Florida.

I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release.  



Get Best Info for Allied Locksmiths said...

This book is beautiful and filled with yummy, interesting and fun things to make. Even if you aren't interested in "swapping" it is a great place to get ideas for desserts, soups or unique food gifts. It would also be a great item to give as a gift due to its lovely photography and the useful recipes.

KRW Hail Claims Lawyers said...

This book is super! I am not much of a “kitchen person” and still found myself completely drawn in by the food swap story and manageable recipes. Emily Paster’s writing is conversational and welcoming while the details and conversion tables will help save me from myself. And it’s gorgeous, too. A few friends will be the lucky recipients of this ideal Holiday gift!