The Art of the Snack Bag
Snacks are a big deal in my family. There is an appropriate snack for every occasion, and snacks make every event better. Road trips (SweetTarts, Carrots, Popcorn). Camping (Donettes, Shelled Peanuts, Apples). Family gatherings (Guacamole, Tortilla Chips, Veggie Platters). While we branched out over the years and some snacks evolved (some did not—even on camping trips now, 30+ years after my first ever car camping excursion, I still pack Donettes) snacks remain an important factor to any meet-up. Yeah, I can be there Saturday…what are we eating? So when it comes to Smart Girls working at Street Fairs, I’m in charge of the snack bag.
The 2-day Adams Avenue Street Fair Snack Bag was assembled entirely at Trader Joe’s. For any event over 6 hours, we highly recommend some sort of ice/chest cooler thing. Tip—you don’t need ice. If you have ice packs, you can throw them in with your cold stuff in a cooler bag and you’ll be good all day (trust us, we ate hummus stored this way for two days, and we’re fine, just be sure it spends its overnight back at your house in the fridge). So the key to snack bag shopping is to pack: 1) some things you like, tried-and-true favorites 2) something that’s healthy (because after hours of snacks you’re going to feel slovenly, slushy, and glooby if you can’t get a carrot or an apple in there), and 3) something totally random that you may or may not like—call it the snack bag intrigue factor. You can’t let your snack bag be boring.
Vary your taste sensations and textures—salty, sweet, crunchy, mushy. Even if you “aren’t a sweet person really” (then I don’t know if I can be friends with you), you’ll want something sweet over the course of your 15 hour day. Think variety. No matter how much you like Pringles, when you are on hour nine and your sixth Pringle flavor variant, you are going to want something else. Another tip—You can never have too many snacks. Never. It’s impossible. You can always take them home, take them to your big girl job, save them for your next outing. So if your question is, do I really need carrots and plums? The answer is probably yes. Do I really need chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate covered pretzels? Yes. Do I need gummy bears and gummy penguins? Well, probably not, but hey, it’s your snack bag…so if you’re asking, the answer is probably yes.
When you see us at our street fair table we very well may be sitting in the back of our booth, cramming food into our faces. This is food from a carefully concocted snack bag. This past weekend you could find us eating carrots and hummus, snickerdoodles, dried mangoes, almond butter sandwiches, plums, bananas, caramel/cheddar popcorn, and garlic pita chips. Other tip(s)—Bring mints and stick napkins in your snack bag.
At most events, there’s always going to be outside food sources and delicious snacks you come across organically. We support enjoying these snacks as well, but with a well-crafted snack bag, there is no urgency to these snacks. You don’t have to go searching hungry and cranky for food. Plus you won’t have to “resent-eat” any snacks. Well I didn’t want this deep-fried turkey leg, but since I’m starving and it’s the shortest line here, fine. Nothing kills a good day like a resent-eat snack. In addition to our Adams Ave snack bag, Smart Girls came across and purchased: pizza, falafel, and soft serve. One last tip—You cannot, no matter how quickly you think you can move through a pack of people, get soft serve back to your fellow Smart Girl 4 blocks away in 82 degree weather without getting ice cream on your shoes…but it will still be worth it.
So, when you see us at the next fair, feel free to ask us what’s in our snack bag! (But I probably won't share, I'm pretty territorial about my snacks.)