Fondue for you?

16 April, 2021

Cheese fondue has a day – and we are totally here for it!

Oozy melted cheese. What’s not to love?

Yes, fondue, the darling of the 1970s dinner party, has made such a comeback that it even has its own celebration, Fondue Day, on April 11th. Get ready to put a cheesy grin on the face of your inner fondue chef.

What is fondue?

Originating in Switzerland, a classic fondue is a shared dish combining melted cheese, cornstarch, wine, salt and pepper, garlic and lemon juice. A fondue is served in a communal pot (caquelon) from a tiny portable stove (réchaud). Some say that the dish was invented to use up limited supplies back in the late 17th century when access to food was limited during the winter. Then, in the 1930s, the Swiss government pushed the concept of fondue to increase the country’s cheese consumption.

How to make fondue

If you don’t have a caquelon, making fondue is as simple as stirring a pot, but there are a couple of rules:

  1. Use the very best, buttery, creamy cheese that you can get your hands on.
  2. Combine the cornstarch and the cheese thoroughly before you start.
  3. Pour wine, lemon juice and herbs into the pot and heat until bubbling.
  4. Add the cheese to the pot in small handfuls to avoid clumping.
  5. Stir slowly and continuously.

Check out this fondue recipe if you need more instructions.

 Fondue etiquette

  • Be COVID safe and be mindful when you’re sharing a fondue pot. Wash your utensils thoroughly between uses and NO double dipping!
  • It’s considered unseemly (and it’s pretty unhygienic) to use your hands to dip food into the pot. 
  • NEVER eat from the long fondue fork. Use it to dip, then use your normal fork to transfer the coated food to your plate. Plus, they’re super sharp.

What is the best cheese for fondue?

There are dozens of cheese varieties to choose from at Woolworths and in specialty cheese shops and delis in the city. Firm, mountain style cheeses are the best and using a mixture of a few is the way to create deep flavours that will knock the socks off your guests. Experiment with gruyere, gouda and fontina and see how different cheeses compare. If you like cheddar cheese, then mix it in with gruyere for a taste sensation.

If you don’t have wine on hand or you want to make a non-alcoholic version, just use chicken or vegetable stock to add the liquid element to your fondue. If you love a lager you can add your favorite beer as the liquid base for the dish.

You can play around with what you dip in your fondue too. Good options include:

  • Bread – the classic choice
  • Apple slices
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Pickles

Weird and wonderful alternate fondue recipes

A beef fondue is becoming popular for parties. Meat is prepared ahead of time and the pot of hot oil and butter sits in the centre of the table. Guests can use their fondue forks to cook their meat how they like it (rare, medium or well done). A German broth based meat fondue is a variation on this idea. Meat is dipped into a simmering broth for cooking.

Sweet fondue? Don’t mind if I do!

Whatever the question, chocolate is the answer, particularly when you want to create a dessert fondue. 

Woolworths has a recipe for a sweet chocolate fondue that you can use to fill your thermos. Pop into Zap Variety to pick up some takeaway containers, pack a lunch box with strawberries, grapes, marshmallows, sweet biscuits or a croissant, and you will have the sweet picnic of your dreams.