The word fondue comes from the French word fondre and it means to melt or to blend. They should have named it after the French word for outstandingly delicious but even that would be limiting. There are so many varieties and kinds of fondues out there that maybe one word really can’t describe it.
I’m confident you’ve probably heard of or even tried cheese fondue. It was popular in the 70ies. If you were not around back then, maybe you have a fondue pot for a wedding present and have been meaning to try it. Or maybe you have never tried it at all. Whatever your background, this guide will show you the basics of cheese fondue and hopefully get you excited to experiment with the many other varieties like hot oil, broth or dessert fondues.
Cheese fondue originated in the alps at the end of winter when food supplies were low. Farmers would use what they had available to feed their families. Cheese, wine and bread were usually all that was available. So they threw the wine and cheese in a pot and dipped their bread in there and waited for Spring.
So why is fondue popular ? It is not because people are having a hard time finding food during the winter. Supermarkets took care of that issue. No, fondue is popular again because it’s fun and delicious. A fondue party is a superb way to have a dinner party. All the prep can be done before the guests arrive and the host may enjoy the meal and their company without running back and forth from the kitchen to the dinner table.
Alright, so lets get you cooking. First thing you ought to try fondue is a fondue pot. Just plug them in, set the temp and you are all set. There are also ceramic pots and metal baskets that you could use but you can not cook hot oil fondue in a ceramic pot and the metal pots are not good for cheese fondue. The electric fondue pots are the most versatile and they are even made dishwasher safe today. is the first recipe you should try. When people discuss fondue this is what they’re discussing. Remember to use the real Gruyere and Emnenthaler cheeses and not some swiss from the supermarket. You’ll taste the difference and so will your guests.
1/2 pounds Gruyeye (shredded)
1 clove Garlic
2 cups Dry White Wine
3 tbs Kirsch (also Called Kirschwasser – cherry brandy)
Nutmeg and/or Paprika to taste
Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic clove – add clove to bud or disgard it (your choice)
Heat up the White Wine & Lemon Juice – should be hot but do not boil
Reduce heat to low and slowly add cheese while stirring
Gradually add rest of ingredients while stirring
Italian Bread (or any crusty bread) cut to bite-sized cubes
Vegetables – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bell Peppers, etc..
Fondue Tips & Traditions:
If the fondue is too hard add more wine.
If the fondue is too soft add more cheese.
Have your visitors stir in a figure eight pattern each time they dip something.
Tradition says that if the thing you’re dipping comes from your fork: Men-Next round of drinks is on you, Women-You should kiss the guy to your left
Make your own traditions. The ones above are obsolete and seem a little chauvinistic to me.
Cold drinks aren’t usually served.
The standard drink for fondue is hot tea or the wine that you used to cook with.
Ignore the rules and serve Merlot. It goes great with cheese fondue.