Vegan fondues, good alternatives to classic fondues? –

Vegan fondues, good alternatives to classic fondues? –

Vegan fondues, made with cauliflower or cashew nuts, are finding a place in supermarkets. On en Parle compared their nutritional and ecological balance with that of classic fondues.

In Switzerland, three major distributors currently offer plant-based alternatives to cheese fondue. A novelty at Migros and Lidl, first launched in 2022. Coop offered two kinds of vegan fondue in 2021 and has just added a third. As for Denner, the brand canceled its vegan fondue offer in 2022.

Cheese replaced with cashews, almonds or cauliflower

The vegan fondues tested come in three varieties. One is based on organic cashew nuts from Vietnam, sold at Coop and Migros. The second, sold at Coop, combines organic cashew nuts from Burkina Faso and organic almonds from Spain. The third, sold at Lidl and Coop, is made with Swiss cauliflower.

Regarding their price, these vegetable alternatives cost between 12 and 13 francs for 500 grams. This is slightly more expensive than a 500 gram packet of ready-to-use cheese fondue of the Gerber type, which costs around 10 francs.

Potentially problematic additives

Asked by On en parle, Séverine Chédel, dietician at Espace nutrition in Neuchâtel, analyzed the different vegan fondues. “There are between two and five additives in each product, which is not the case when preparing a classic fondue at home. This can become problematic for your health if you consume these processed products every day, on the long term.”

>> To consult: the complete table of the analysis of vegan fondues from On en parle

Comparative table of vegan fondues [Tableau comparatif des fondues véganes – On en parle / RTS]

Séverine Chédel finds that it is not easy to compare the nutritional value of cheese fondue with that of its alternatives. For example, if you are looking for a low-fat, low-calorie fondue, the cauliflower one is the best option. On the other hand, calcium and cheese proteins are absent.

As for the cashew hot pots, “both contain coconut fat. This fat is not necessarily of good quality, it is also a saturated fat which is no less harmful than that contained in cheese. One of the two cashew-based fondues contains more fats and saturated fatty acids than the traditional fondue, while the other contains a little less”, specifies the dietician who adds that the fondue, vegetable or classic , remains a dish to be consumed in moderation.

Manufacturers’ response

Contacted by We talk about additives, all the producers claim to use very little of them. According to them, these additives are safe and meet the standards. The manufacturers of the cauliflower fondue indicate that they want to minimize their use and recall that food safety remains their priority.

When it comes to fat, producers of cashew hot pot acknowledge that coconut oil is high in saturated fat. They point out, however, that it does not contain cholesterol or lactose, which would make it more digestible than a fondue made from cow’s milk. Moreover, although it is scientifically debated, it could possess health-promoting properties.

Ecologically, vegan fondue wins

While the cauliflower fondue contains Swiss vegetables, the organic cashew nut fondues import their nuts from Vietnam and Burkina Faso. Lindsay Lessard, eco-balance expert at the consulting firm Quantis, admits that she is not very familiar with cheeses made from cashew nuts or cauliflower. She uses the example of coconut-based cheeses: “The studies are clear, coconut-based cheese obtains a better eco-balance than milk-based. In general, products made from cow’s milk have more ecological impact than their plant-based alternatives because cows produce a lot of methane. There is also manure management, food production, etc.”

Even though the cashews come from abroad, if they are transported by ship and truck, their carbon footprint is better than local cheese production.

Radio subject: Nastasia Jeanneret and Isabelle Fiaux

Adaptation web: Myriam Semaani

#Vegan #fondues #good #alternatives #classic #fondues

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