If we say the words ‘melted cheese’, how quickly does your mouth begin to water? Yep, we thought so. What about hot melted chocolate? Same again, right?
Fondue – that hot bowl of melted cheese goodness – was officially named a Swiss national dish back in the 1930s as a way of increasing cheese consumption. We know, why weren’t people already eating enough cheese?! Now, it’s pretty much a staple dish for anyone taking a trip to Switzerland. The best thing? You’ll soon discover that you can fondue pretty much anything if you put your mind (and heart) to it, especially if you go all in and have a cheese fondue for main and a chocolate fondue for dessert!
Here’s everything a traveller needs to know to avoid a fondue faux pas – and 12 of our favourite foods to fondue at home or away…
So, what is fondue actually made from?
Cheese, OBVIOUSLY. The matriarchs of any good fondue, Gruyere and Emmentaler are both pretty awesome fondue makers, but any decent Swiss cheese will do. The Swiss also add a little alcohol (usually white wine and kirsch) and seasoning. Want to make your own at home? Check out this recipe.
Or if you’re going sweet the requirements include a big pot, some cream and a truck load of chocolate to make this God given gift. This recipe makes us drool. Also, white chocolate or caramel salted fondue – holy smokes.
How does it stay so hot and bubbly?
The key is to melt the cheese slowly – never over direct heat, before putting it into a fondue pot for serving. Then, most Swiss locals keep it warm using a candle or heat device at the table, which serves part of the spectacle too!
1. Crusty bread
Sourdough, rye, pumpkin, ciabatta, garlic. Whatever your weapon of choice, once you’ve dipped your bread into that oozing pot of melting cheese, life won’t be the same ever again.
2. Mini meatballs
Whether dipping in cheese or frying in a hot oil fondue, these little balls of goodness pack a mighty punch.
Steak in a hot oil fondue allows you to cook the meat exactly as you like it – blue, bloody, medium, or well done.
4. Vegetable skewers
Fresh mushrooms, red peppers, zucchini chunks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets – mix up your veggie skewer with all your favourite healthy treats then undo any nutritional goodness whatsoever by dunking them straight into cheese heaven.
5. Potato cubes or wedges
Dice and pre-fry your potato cubes for the perfect dipper to cheese fondue. Or, cut them into wedges, pierce with a skewer and leave in a hot oil fondue until crispy and golden. Then maybe sprinkle with a little cheese because really, melted cheese is everything.
Just in case the cheese fondue main and chocolate fondue desert wasn’t calorific enough, chuck in a few brownies to get the cholesterol levels at an all-time high. Dip these bad boys in your chocolate fondue and savour every last mouthful.
You’ve melted them on bonfires but have you ever dipped a marshmallow in rich, melted chocolate? The heat melts the marshmallow just enough that it becomes a sugary, oozy mouthgasm and we know you like the sound of that.
8. Pineapple chunks
Kind of like the infamous New Zealand chocolate-covered pineapple chunks candy but way, way better. The zingy taste of the pineapple is the perfect balance to the runny chocolate, just watch out for drippage.
9. Frozen bananas
Oh hell yes. Dice up your bananas and stick them in a container in the freezer overnight, then bring them out just before serving so you can easily skewer them. The chocolate will melt the frozen banana just enough that you get the very best of both flavours.