Sunday, October 28, 2007

National Day of Fondue

I'll bet you have a fondue set hidden away somewhere in your kitchen. It's worth it to rummage through some of those cabinets rarely opened, filled with unknown horrors of culinary trends past. Did you find one? If so, it's time to dust it off because today is the first great holiday of the year, National Fondue Day*! If you don't happen to have one of these miracle pots, you could buy a new one online, but beware that it's not authentic if it doesn't boast some of the beautiful shades of the 1970s.

Here are two cookbooks to get you in the holiday* spirit: Fondue Cookery (Alison Burt) and Better Homes and Gardens' Fondue and Tabletop Cooking, both originally published in 1970.

Fondue photography, a burgeoning subgenre of photography, is rife with some of the most social and active images of food known to man. Photos of sweatered diners, blazing fires (fireplace or candle), and multiple fondue forks hanging over bowls of creamy cheese are common sights in a fondue cookbook. Not so with Fondue Cookery, however. The pictures, though just as lovely as the Better Homes and Gardens', are lonely and lethargic with a lack of anticipation and many photos containing no action or fondue fork at all.

It's a Swiss thing - Fondue Cookery cover

Neuchâtel Fondue

The sickly-looking Mushroom Fondue with Curried Bread Crumbs

The first of the Flambés - Krambambuli

Bourguignonne Fondue

Peaches Flambé - Unfortunately, there's no photo of the Herbed Veal Kidneys Flambés!

If there's a lesson to be learned from Fondue Cookery, it's that everyone has their own fondue. The book includes personalized concoctions from His Fondue and Landlord's Fondue to Peter's Fondue. Sadly, they forgot Plumber's Fondue, Gandhi's Fondue, and Gertrude's Fondue.

Unlike Fondue Cookery, Fondue and Tabletop Cooking is action-packed. The anticipation is palpable as images of boiling oil, flickering warming candles, and, of course, fondue forks dunking into pots of molten cheese, lifting out dripping chunks of french bread, fill every page.

Front cover of Better Homes and Gardens' Fondue and Tabletop Cooking - Poised to plunge into the second-degree-burn-inducing hot oil. Note the nice candles!

Lemon-chiffon-colored Classic Cheese Fondue

Welcome to the ski chalet, where every day is Fondue Day!

Chocolate Fondue - This photo is a Curly Wurly first! This marks the first time that I've posted a picture of something that actually looks palatable (not including luncheon meats and gelatin salads because I actually do eat those daily)!

Connect-the-dots to see the cover image of next month's Better Homes and Gardens (September 1970 only)!

If your Creamy Ham Rolls have similar looking abnormal pustules, please get it to the doctor quickly. This picture illustrates the most romantic table decor: the tacky pillar candle.

A rare look at the stylish tabletop appliances of the 1970s. Behold the boxy, chrome-accented essentials of a simpler, dare I say, better time! They're obsolete and unidentifiable. Compare the filled-in picture with What's What?!: a Primer.

* Actually, according to the wise internet (where every day is a holiday, no matter how insignificant, ludicrous), there are two fondue-based holidays. National Cheese Fondue Day is April 11th, and National Chocolate Fondue Day is February 5th. This post was nothing but a melty, cheesy lie!


jason67 said...


I have the Better Homes and Gardens Fondue book, and I swear, I was going to scan it for my blog! You beat me to it!

Did you know that chocolate fondue was invented at Expo 67?

And cheese fondue became very popular here in Quebec because of the Swiss restaurants at Expo...

Maria said...

You should scan it! The pictures are so good, who wouldn't want to see them twice (or more)?!

Also, I didn't know either of the fondue fun facts, so you have more of a responsibility to show the pictures and educate! Is fondue still very popular in Canada?

jason67 said...

Fondue and Tabletop Cooking, 1970