Fondue Set

Description
The fondue pot came from an American History staff member, who told curators of this very distinctly Americanized and democratized communal association with fondue and this pot.
“Three of my brothers played high school football in Phillipsburg N.J. during the early 70’s and our family would regularly get together with three other families who also had sons playing football. The families (totaling 20 or so) would all get together after the Friday night football games for refreshments. . . fondue being one of the menu items. . . We also used the fondue pot when we got together with our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.”
In the mid-1950’s, a Swiss/French dish (known in Switzerland since at least the early 18th century) called “fondue” came to be so popular in the United States that restaurants specializing in fondue opened in New York and other cities. Home fondue sets, with pots for cooking over a flame, and complete with their many forks for the communal dipping into the pots, came to be all the rage in the 1960’s. Kitchenware stores sold “fondue party kits” and commercial manufacturers, such as the American housewares manufacturer Dansk, made popular models like this one. Home cooks expanded on the recipes they had seen on Julia Child’s show, “The French Chef,” and cooked with recipe books that came with their newly acquired pots. What seemed like the end of the fondue fad in the seventies yielded several returns of the fad, in the 1990s and again since 2010.
In the 1970’s, the chesses common to fondue, such as Neufchatel (for fondue neufchateloise), Gruyere, Appenzeller, and Emmenthaler were more common in American groceries, and the common mix of white wine, cheese, kirsch, and cornstarch into which people dipped their French bread, in the United States, added even more common dipping ingredients of meats (for fondue bourguignonne) and vegetables for the cheese, and fruits to be dipped in chocolate.
Object Name
fondue set
ID Number
2011.0151.01
catalog number
2011.0151.01
accession number
2011.0151
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Food
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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