fondue recipes

Try some new fondues.

Fondue Recipes Are Fun!


Fun, sexy and alluring... fondue has been the culinary bedrock of parties for decades. Friends and families around the globe have enjoyed sharing hundreds of creative fondue recipes that ignite the taste buds. While meat fondue can provide the heart of a meal, chocolate fondue draped over fruit, brownies and marshmallows can offer a mouthwatering finale.

Preparing fondue is what makes the experience unique. It's a chance for everyone to participate in making the meal, yet it requires very little effort. The cheese, sauce, or chocolate is heated in a saucepan. Meats, fruits, vegetables and cubes of cheese can be prepared for dipping. Once heated, the mixture in the saucepan can be placed in the fondue pot to be enjoyed by everyone.

The question, "What is fondue?" has a surprisingly complicated answer. In its simplest and purest form, the modern word means a dish in which small pieces of bread are dipped into melted cheese using skewers or forks. In the latter half of the 20th century the word became generalized to have other similar meanings, such as a sweet dish involving pieces of fruit dipped in chocolate or another variation where meat is actually cooked by being dipped in hot oil.

Unfortunately fondue has become so closely identified with the 1960s and '70s that many people mistakenly think it was invented by trendy college students. This is a shame for two reasons. First of all, this dish is wonderful and should not be sneered at for any reason. Second, it's simply wrong. Fondue has a long and illustrious past that extends far beyond its modern associations.

Events in culinary history are seldom noted by historians, so it is impossible to point to a single moment when the dish was invented. The situation is complicated by the word's ambiguity in a historical context. There were recipes for preparations involving cheese melted in wine in German cookbooks as far back as the late 17th century, but they were called by other names. We can only say with certainty that by the 1730s, French cookbooks were including recipes that were actually called fondues. However, the widespread popularity of the dish in French cuisine, and arguably the beginning of the world's fascination with it, probably can be attributed to an 1825 cookbook by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

Ironically, this documentation still does not give us a satisfactory answer to the question, "What is fondue?" Brillat-Savarin's recipe is something quite different from the modern meaning of the word. It includes eggs as well as cheese and is closer to what we would call a soufflé today.

Having a fondue party makes for a great evening, however there are several things you might like to take into consideration when thinking about who and how many guests to invite to your fondue party:

  1. How many fondue forks to you have? Each guest will need one of these specialty long handled-forks, which can usually be found at kitchenware stores or online at reasonable prices. If you don't have or can't get fondue forks, why not try skewers?
  2. How many fondue pots do you have? Ideally, have one pot per 4 or 5 guests, but this can be stretched out a bit if you need to.
  3. How many people can you fit around your table?

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