Fondue Au Fromage – A Mid-Century Recipe Test

Posted on Jan 18 2012 - 6:03am by RetroRuth

This is Fondue Au Fromage.


It looks like a plate of fried cheese, but don’t be fooled.

It is comprised mostly of soup and eggs.

Fondue Au Fromage001_thumb[7]

If you have been following the blog at all these last few weeks, you will know by now that Tom and I foolishly decided to cook from a Lipton promotional book from the 1970’s for our New Year’s Eve buffet. Some of the recipes turned out well and some not so much.

This little gem was so bizarre it didn’t even get cooked up on New Year’s Eve.


This is the pan of cheese goo that Tom made on New Year’s, but it took so long to finish chilling that we didn’t finish making it until two days later. Granted, it was chilled the next day, but it still hadn’t solidified enough for slicing. The second day, we had to make a command decision.

“Let’s make this cheese garbage before it starts to mold.”


And so Tom started cutting and scooping.


Saying that this did not look appetizing would be putting it rather kindly.

“This is horrible! Whose idea was this??”

I pointed my finger in Tom’s face. “This one was all your idea, Doctor. Make sure you bread them, too!”


I went back to making the edible part of our dinner, and listened for a while to the desperate scraping and the slap of cheese goo hitting Fiestaware.


Finally, he heaved a sigh. “Done. I’ve made a plate of these things and I am not making anymore.”

“What if they turn out to be good?”

“As if.”


But I thought they turned out kind of cute.

Tom didn’t agree with me.


“What do you mean, ‘They’re cute’?”


Sad Tom face.

“Oh God, how are they?”

“I think I might actually be sick of onion soup mix.”

“That bad, huh?”

The Verdict: Pretty bad. They did have redeeming qualities, but not nearly enough for a sane person to EVER serve these to company. It was like eating straight onion soup mix. All other tastes were lost under the horrible power of onion. After that they had an unpleasant “goo” factor that tasted and acted nothing like cheese.

However, in the end we did find a way to overpower the onion soup.


Yep, slices of jalapeno save the day, again. And yes, that is three whole slices. And this was on one of mine. Normally these are a bit hot for me and I can only have a few, so that has to tell you how strong the onion was.

If I was going to make these again, I would make some SERIOUS changes. First, I would halve the flour/butter/milk combo and sub in a brick of cream cheese. Then I would use cheddar cheese instead of swiss and add a bunch of chopped jalapenos and make jalapeno popper squares.

Wait…that might just be a genius idea…



We are having a pretty awesome contest over at No Pattern Required. Tell us the worst thing you’ve ever eaten, and be entered in a contest to win a copy of Kooky Cookery by Bryan Ballinger!

The entries so far are pretty disgusting, so come on over to enter, or just to read about some horrible eating experiences!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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8 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Angela January 18, 2012 at 11:44 am - Reply

    “Cut fondue mixture…” is right about where my stomach turned. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing about fondue that should ever, ever be slice-able. And why was it so gray? Gray?!?!

    • RetroRuth January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      I had no idea why it turned out so gray! I was kind of freaking out about that part, too!

  2. Sara In AZ January 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Ugh! You’d think those fried little nuggets would taste SOOOOOO good too! They do look really bizarre though (in the pre-fried stage), almost like little blobs of peanut butter. Maybe you should have fried that instead! 🙂

    • RetroRuth January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      No kidding!!! It would have tasted like 100 times better!

  3. Erica January 21, 2012 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    I don’t know what that brown-grey goo is — spackle? epoxy? something industrial, certainly — but “cheese” wouldn’t be the first thing that springs to mind. Yeesh!

  4. CJ June 18, 2012 at 6:20 am - Reply

    OMG hahaha Tom’s face. I just found out about this blog since I love 30-60s era, and I LOVE IT!

    Can’t wait to read more of your posts! 🙂

  5. Sparkina April 1, 2013 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Lose the onion soup mix and sub in some salt and a bit of herb blend (like Mrs. Dash), and these little nuggets would prolly taste divine in that decadent bar food/chain-restaurant appetizer kind of way

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