Food Swap Coming to Fort Lauderdale -- Got Homemade Swappables?

Marie Castro of Wilton Manors is a working mom. She's been reading stories about food swaps around the country and started looking for one she could get in on. But there weren't any.

"Since I cannot find one here in South Florida, I'm starting the trend," she said. "I need to spread the word, though."

Food swaps depend on home cooks who make homemade foods -- enough to share. Mango jam, for instance. Homemade pasta sauce, quick breads or yeast rolls, cupcakes, pickles, barbecue sauce -- even homegrown herb plants.

Anyone can participate -- all you do is bring X amount of your stuff to swap, plus a sample for the sampling table.

Swappers are then given bid cards and write down how much they're willing to swap of their food for some of the others. I'll give you a little loaf of banana bread for a jar of your fig jam, for instance. Everyone collects their cards at the end and decides what bids to accept for their foods.

"Some people bring things they've canned or put up -- those are the most common -- and breads. But even fresh foods that you've frozen, like soup or pasta sauce, is fine. As long as you've made it or grown it and put actual labor into it, that's OK," Castro said.

No store-bought foods -- this is all about sharing foods that you've invested time and money in, she said.

Accepting bids is up to you -- if you think your hot fudge sauce is worth more than my Hotdamn Green Bean Pickles, then you can say no -- and go home with your fudge sauce.

Ready to swap? First meeting is 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at a church in Wilton Manors. To participate, contact Marie at

Follow Clean Plate Charlie onFacebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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