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Fabulous Fondue

fondue cookbook cover

The Fondue Cookbook
Merriman
1969

Fondue was the hip food trend back in the day. (Never mind that the Swiss had been doing the fondue thing for centuries.) It was quite chic for my Midwestern small town upbringing. Naturally, any cheese related food trends are sure bets in the Midwest. This book is just okay. I am sure most foodies would be appalled at the use of canned soup. The recipes are pretty standard and this book needs some decent artwork. I did enjoy reading about Welsh Rabbit or Rarebit. As a kid, I was sure it was something to do with rabbits from Wales.

Mary

 

fondue cookbook back cover

 

fondue equipment

cheese fondue recipes

welsh rabbit recipes

18 Responses to Fabulous Fondue

  • Sounds unlikely to me. The Welsh word for rabbit is cwningen, which doesn’t sound anything like cheese or toast in either language.

    • What seems unlikely? There is a dish named Welsh rabbit; the origin of that name is lost in time, but it’s definitely a British dish that probably refers to a substitution of rabbit with toast and cheese.

  • The best part of this book is that Mary Tyler Moore Show font on the cover…so glad fondue never made any great resurgence

  • Wait a minute: BEEF fondue?

    • Absolutely! You heat oil in the fondue pot instead of cheese, and put pieces of raw steak on your fork to cook along with potatoes and mushrooms dipped in tempura batter. It’s really good.

      • I would argue that that is OIL fondue, then, if we are being consistent with names. I’m glad for the explanation though! Thank you!

  • We had a fondue pot on our kitchen table, but I don’t think it was ever used–it just sat and collected dust for about a year and a half.

  • I think it was the Joy of Cooking that had the best line about rabbit v. rarebit.

  • I remember some ad in a magazine back in 60s where the housewife is saying to her husband something like, “The Johnsons have fonduing it, the Smiths have fonduing it, how come we never have fonduing it?” So risqué! Cracked up my tween self; then many years later repeating it to my son (as he made fondue), it cracked up his tween self.

  • My dad went to college in the 70’s and developed a lifelong fear of fondue. Our next door neighbor threw a fondue party back then (which was a surpise in itself) and he used Campbell’s soup.

  • Dipping forks and food that have been in your mouth into the same little pot doesn’t sound very sanitary. Everyone now knows about the “double dip chip” rule when at parties, thanks to Seinfeld.

    • Fondue forks have very sharp points and depending on the type of fondue can get very hot – you would never put one in your mouth. My parents had a few different fondue recipes (none involving canned soup), so I ate it regularly growing up. We always used a knife to extricate the food from the dipping fork then used a table fork to eat it.

  • *@%$ yes fondue – I call upon this site to remove this post immediately and also publish a letter of apology stating that it in no way meant to defame one of the greatest foods ever

  • Does it have raclette? My boss’s wife, may she RIP, used to bring a huge chunk ‘o’ cheese and a raclette melter to the office Christmas party: you skewer the cheese to the gadget, which has a heating element, turn it on and the heat melts the top layer of cheese, and you scrape off the melted cheese and spread it on bread or crackers. Mmmmmmm. Sooooo gooooood.

  • We got several fondue pots as wedding gifts, that’s how trendy we were LOL! But we actually used them. The metal ones for cheese or oil, the ceramic one for dessert fondue — such as melted chocolate with cubes of sponge cake. Our friends had fondue parties, too (they could afford the meat more than us poverty-stricken graduate students). Fast forward a few decades, and I had the pleasure of attending a fondue party hosted by a Swiss guy. He was quite passionate about using the proper cheeses, and he had to hunt them down with some difficulty. It sure was good, though. And, don’t know if they still carry it, but Trader Joe’s used to sell cheese fondue already made up, in the cheese case. You just microwaved it. My son (who was given a miniature fondue pot at a family Christmas party , and he wanted to use it — the container fit in it just right) thought it was way cool.

  • The dish is called “Welsh rabbit”, but that fanciful story is wrong. Never heard it before; I’m wondering whether the author invented it for this book! It’s actually a slur on the Welsh, that they were too poor even to put rabbit on the table, and so had to make do with cheese.

    • Agh! Hit “post” too soon. I meant to add, the word was changed to “rarebit” in an attempt to make it more genteel. “It’s not a rabbit, or even fake rabbit, it’s a rare bit.”