The history of fondue can be traced to Switzerland, where the dish consisted of melted cheese available for dipping stale bread. It was a simple and easy way to use up chunks and pieces of old, hard cheese and could be mixed with a variety of flavors to give it a unique taste each time! The addition of wine to this mixture was courtesy of the French, and cherry brandy was often used as the enhancer of choice. Who would have thought that a peasant’s meal would soon make its way into western food history?
It wasn’t until the 1950s that this dish became popular in both Europe and the United States, and soon became a party centerpiece. The 1970s bought in fondue pots designed specifically for the occasion, and thin skewers to accompany the assorted fondue ingredients followed suit. Chocolate fondue was introduced in 1964, as the fondue pot could now be used for a variety of ‘meltings.’ Hot oil was the preferred method for cooking meat pieces, while melted cheese with bread became the standard fondue fare.
Recipes today can range from Hot Crab, Toffee, Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Garlic Cheese, and Vegetable Fondues. The sky’s the limit when it comes to combinations, and many people experiment with a variety of chocolates, cheeses, dipping ingredients, and sauces.
Tips and strategies:
-In order to make the best cheese fondue, be sure to grate the cheese well, and use cornflour and white wine to prevent curdling. Alcohol is necessary for cheese fondue, as it prevents the cheese from curdling.
-Fondue dipping components can include chunks of wheat bread, bagel chunks, buttered toast, vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, green beans, celery sticks, and broccoli, chicken, firm tofu, and various chunks of fresh fruit. Meats for frying in oil can include cubes of roast beef, salami, or ham.
-When throwing a strictly-fondue party, do make sure that you have enough pieces of fruits, meats, and bread to go around as this can become a quick favorite! You’ll need to make the fondue in a saucepan before transferring it to an actual fondue pot, so take care in the melting process to prevent overcooking, curdling, or burning.
-Skewers can be purchased at most cooking and food stores, and range in a variety of sizes. Have fun, and enjoy the classic dish of fondue!
Here is an original-style recipe for Swiss Cheese Fondue. This one can be made in the fondue pot, but you can also choose to make it in a saucepan first, then transfer:
Swiss Cheese FondueRecipe
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 100g GruyÃ?Â¨re cheese
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 100g Vacherin cheese
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 100 ml white wine
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1 tsp cornflour
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1 clove garlic
Ã¢Â?Â¢ 1 tsp. lemon juice
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Ã?Â½ tsp nutmeg
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Kirschwasser (cherry liquor)
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Crusty white bread, cut into thick slices/chunks
1. Chop up the garlic clove and rub alongside the fondue pot. Leave inside.
2. Mix the grated cheese with the cornflour. Place in the fondue pot with the white wine, lemon juice, and nubmeg.
3. Heat the mixture until it begins to bubble, and keep stirring until smooth.
4. If the mixture is too thick, add more kirsch wine; if it is too thin, add more cornflour, but always keep stirring!
5. Set the fondue pot to ‘warm’ and serve with white bread.
Here is a recipe for a delicious chocolate fondue. Dipping components for this can include fresh strawberries or chunks of fruit, marshmallows, cookie chunks, brownie chunks, or even bread:
Chocolate Fondue Recipe
2 cups Heavy whipping cream
1 pound Dark chocolate cut into small bits
1 shot Kirschwasser (cherry liquor)
Bring the whipping cream to a boil on the stove, and then lower to simmer. Add the dark chocolate, and stir well. Continue to stir until well blended and silky smooth. Turn off the heat, and add the cherry liquor. Continue to stir, and then pour into the fondue pot. Serve with whole strawberries, chunks of bananas, pineapple, or even a dark wheat bread. You can also add a hazelnut flavoring to this recipe for a great variation.
For those who would rather leave the house for their fondue-fix, the Melting Pot is an up-and-coming restaurant franchise that serves a wide range of fondue dishes in a casual and fun atmosphere. Opened in 1975 in Florida, the chain has expanded to over 100 national locations. The Melting Pot serves share-able dishes including a Fondue for Two featuring a Surf ‘n Turf option, and Signature with prime rib; Regular Cheese fondue in a variety of flavors, and an extensive chocolate fondue menu brimming with fruit selections and chocolate variations. Groups and couples can delight in the large menu, extensive wine list, and specialty drinks.