Friday, October 21, 2016

Vegan Chocolate or Carob Fondue for Your Holidays - A 60s Party Tradition

Fondue isn't merely a fun party novelty, it represents a lost art of communal feasting with friends. After World War II rationing ended, the Swiss Cheese Union sent fondue sets to military regimes as part of the "spiritual defense of Switzerland." It was later aggressively promoted with slogans like "fondue creates a good mood." 

Fondue became wildly popular in the US during the 1960s, first being promoted during the 1964 New York World Fair at the Swiss Pavilion Alpine Restaurant. Being a time of experimentation, people wondered, what else can I dip in that thing? There's canned soup fondue, meat and oil, meat and broth; a Swiss dish borrowed from the french for using-up stale bread and old cheese now had canned meal kits you could buy at the store along with the pot. Special ceramic fondue  dishes were made during this decade too, for additional dipping into mustard, onion, and other delectable sauces. The recipe variation we'll be looking at today was invented by chef Kondrad Egli of New York's Chalet Suisse Restaurant as a promotion for Toblerone chocolate.

Chocolate or Carob Fondue Recipe, Easy Version

1 Bag (12 oz) of Carob or Chocolate Chips, Vegan if you're vegan, or get your favorite non-vegan varieties otherwise

3/4 Cup Almond Milk (Try making your own, or use any other vegan nut milk you desire)

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Simply heat until fully incorporated, stirring occasionally, then pour into your fondue pot. If you want to fill it to the top for a lot of guests you made need to double or triple the recipe.

I made mine with carob chips because I can't sleep at night at the best of times and caffeine served so close to bed would keep me up until the sun peeks through the blinds, but chocolate's a good choice to keep guests awake on their ride home!

Vegan Chocolate From Scratch, Masocist's Version

1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Cocoa Butter
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Almond Milk depending on desired thickness
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
Sweetener to Taste, 1/8 Cup to 1/4 cup max should be sufficient, agave or brown rice syrup work well here and are lower glycemic index sweeteners

Melt all of these together in a pot. It'll take a little while for the cocoa butter to fully melt and everything to fully incorporate. Watch and whisk as needed.

Serving your Fondue: For chocolate fondue a tea light is sufficient to keep your chocolate warm. Desert fondue is often served with sliced pound cake and strawberries, I served mine with the more traditional hard bread from a local bakery. You can try it with pretzels and any type of fruit, too. The correct form is to swirl your fondue fork in a figure 8 as opposed to merely dipping or dunking your bread into the sauce (you savage!) According to Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads any male guest that loses his chunk of bread in the pot (easy to do) must buy drinks for all his dining companions, any woman that loses her dipper must kiss the person on her left and then on her right. Ladies, feel free to inform the party of the old rules you like the looks of those to your left and right. Gentlemen, feel free to stay silent.

Fondue's popularity faded in the early 70s, but it's made on-and-off come-backs. To this day I often spot fondue forks and pots at thrift stores, colorful reminders of a by-gone era where social interaction was the norm and not the exception. There's a spirit of thriftiness to fondue and even healthiness, because the serving sizes are small and you fill up on the company of your guests rather than feeling stuffed to the gills with the buffets of too-much-food at modern parties.

Make everyone put their smart phones away (or else they buy drinks for all dining companions!) and break out the fondue pots this holiday season, if you dare. Use what's in season or around the house, go wild and weird, do in that kitschy swinging 60s rebellious spirit.
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  1. I did not know about those old traditions! How fun! It has been a long time since I made fondue. The last time I made a spicy cheese one. It was amazing with bread and veggies!

    1. Oh that sounds delicious :O !! I can imagine it on broccoli, I'll have to play with a recipe like that next.

  2. Aaaaaah...the Swiss know how to do things right!:D My kiddos love chocolate fondue. We ended up buying them this Hello Kitty set with the heating unit and everything, and not gonna lie....I think I ended up eating more of the chocolate than they did...hehe

    1. A hello kitty set, how cute! They do get addictive. I have some leftover chocolate, maybe I'll eat it to myself, bwaaahaha :)

  3. I remember fun times having fondue with my family! Although we never had the sweet version, just the cheesy one :) I definitely need to try your recipe!

  4. cool. thanks for sharing. fondue is always so much fun

  5. Love fondue, especially the one with cheese involved. And I love the idea of putting away phones during dinner. When I was a kid, I remember that the one who lost any food in the fondue pan, was the one who should host the next fondue-dinner-party!

  6. I've never fondued.... fondood? anything in my life. I found a fondue set and sold it on Etsy but that's about as close as I've gotten.

    1. I've sold a few sets and then after I had non left in stock I wanted to use them! haha


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  8. If you prefer a classic cheese fondue, an unglazed pot ought to be your choice. electric fondue set


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