There are many versions of fondue but for this article, we’re going to concentrate on the wonder that is cheese fondue.
This is a great dish for any party or even just a fun interactive teatime meal with the kids. So what exactly is fondue?
Keep reading to learn all you’ll ever need to know!
What Is Fondue?
Fondue is a tasty dish that consists of melted cheese mixed with either wine, cognac, or brandy. It’s a sharing dish so you’ll want to make sure there are a few of you, or that you’re really hungry.
Typically it’ll be served in a ceramic pot where the cheesy goodness is heated from below to ensure it stays melted.
You’ll then want chunks of bread or a selection of deli meats that you can dip in the flowing cheese with a long knife or fork.
The History Of Fondue
Fondue originates from Switzerland. The dish was initially created as a way to eat hardened cheese and stale bread that otherwise would have gone to waste.
So if you want the true original experience you’ll want to opt for a tasty swiss cheese such as Gruyere or Emmental.
The name fondue is derived from the French language where fondre translates to ‘to melt.’
In different places across the world, you’ll find different cheeses being used in fondue, other tasty choices include Beaufort, Comte, Fontina, Reblochon, Vacherin, Sbrinz, and Appenzeller.
Fondue-type dishes can actually be found across the globe. In China and Japan portions of meat, seafood, and vegetables are cooked in a communal pot of oil or broth.
In Mexico, queso fundido is essentially the same as cheese fondue but you’ll find they’ll dunk tortillas in their cheese instead of chunks of bread.
Types Of Fondue
There are many different types of fondue and though cheese is the most popular it isn’t the only option.
Fondue Bourguignonne is similar except hot oil replaces the cheese and bread gets swapped for meat.
Fondue Au Chocolat is also similar except, you guessed it, the cheese is replaced with melted chocolate. Delicious.
Usually, fruit or confectionary will be dipped into the chocolate.
What Are Good Dipping Options For Cheese Fondue?
Anything that pairs well with cheese (which in my opinion is pretty much everything) will be a great dipper for your fondue.
The one thing you’ll want to consider is how easy are these foods to impale because you’ll be using a long fork to dip into the cheese fondue.
Here are a few of my favorite dippers for a tasty cheese fondue:
- Tortillas (especially toasted)
- Potato chips
- Sausages and hotdog sausages (You might want to check out What Is Chorizo here)
- Deli meats
- Raw vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes taste amazing dipped in cheese)
- Roast potatoes
How To Make Fondue
The key to a great fondue is making sure that your cheese melts thoroughly, smoothly, and doesn’t separate.
To do this you’ll want to add starch of some kind. I personally think that cornstarch works the best.
If you want a traditional fondue you’ll need to add a little alcohol. Typically, the alcohol of choice is a brandy called Kirschwasser which is made from cherries (Check out this Korean Alcohol- Soju).
However, you don’t have to use this, pretty much any cognac or brandy will do.
Although Kirsch is made from cherries you shouldn’t swap this for a cherry liquor unless you want a sickly sweet melted cheese mixture.
You’ll tend to find a fondue served in a ceramic pot.
You’ll cook the cheese on the stove with this pot and once the cheese is melted, the pot is transferred to the table where you will keep the pot warm with the help of a candle.
If you don’t have a candle any heat source that will keep the cheese melted will do. Fondue can also be cooked in a slow cooker if you’d prefer.
To make the cheese mixture, you’ll want to combine together the liquor and the cornstarch together. From there add a cup of wine and simmer the mixture. T
hen you can start to add your chosen cheese. Do not chuck all the cheese in at once, add small amounts slowly and keep stirring.
Wait until the cheese in the pot has fully melted before you begin to add any more. Once all the cheese has melted, you can begin to season the mixture.
You’ll want a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and nutmeg to ensure a great flavor. Once this is done, you can serve and enjoy.
And enjoy you certainly will.
Now since fondue is a sharing dish, there are a few things that you should and should not be doing when it’s served. We’ll go through these now.
- Always give your fondue fork time to cool down between dippings
- Always keep napkins away from a naked flame
- Always remember which fondue fork is yours.
- Always allow others a chance to pick their favorite dippers before going again
- Always order as much fondue as you’d like
- Never double dip
- Never dip with your fingers
- Never eat directly off the fondue fork
- Never pour the contents of the pot onto your plate (it’s tempting, I know)
- Never leave dippers in the pot
Fondue is a super tasty dish – who doesn’t love a pot of melted cheese after all.
It’s great because you can choose between so many different food types as dippers to ensure that even the pickiest of eaters have something they like.
There really aren’t any rules to what you can dunk in there, so whether you’d prefer meat, bread, or a nice vegetarian option the choice is up to you.
What’s even better is that you could even choose to go all out and have fondue for your main and desert.
Swap your cheese for some delicious melted chocolate and your bread and meat for some marshmallows, strawberries, or other confectionery items for an amazing sharing desert.