Get ready, because I'm about to blow your mind. Not only am I going to show you how to make cheese fondue at home, but I'm going to make it so easy that there's no way you can mess it up. Fondue is such a fun way to gather friends with everyone sitting around the table dipping into a communal pot of cheese. It just doesn't get any better than that.
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Cheese Fondue Origin
The word, "fondue," is a form of the French verb, "fondre" which means "to melt". So when you eat cheese fondue (or "fromage fondue"), you're literally eating "melted cheese".
We have the Swiss to thank for cheese fondue. In the wintertime, when people had less access to fresh foods, they developed it to use up their aged cheese and stale bread by cooking the cheese with wine and dipping the bread in it. This meal became a Swiss classic and was promoted as the national dish in the 1930s. It was introduced in America at the 1964 World Fair.
Ever since then, Americans have adopted this Swiss meal as their own with fondue parties and even fondue restaurants, like The Melting Pot.
The Secret to Easy (and Affordable!) Cheese Fondue
If you've eaten fondue in a restaurant, you might think it's complicated to make it at home. I mean, you pay good money for a nice fondue experience, right? What if I told you that making cheese fondue can be both easy and more affordable when you make it at home?
Are you ready for the secret?
It's a boxed cheese fondue mix.
Now, don't get all cheese snobby on me. Fondue mix is good -- like, really good. I like it better than homemade fondue or the fondue that you get at The Melting Pot.
In fact, every year, my family eats cheese fondue made from a mix on Christmas Eve. It's our family tradition, and it couldn't be any easier to fix. You literally cut open the package and heat it up.
You can usually buy cheese fondue mix at your major grocery store if you live in a big city. But you can also buy it on Amazon.
If you're feeding MORE than 8, you'll save money by buying this 6-pack of Swiss Knight cheese fondue. That amount of cheese will feed 12 people, and when you look at the price per person, you'll be amazed! So much cheaper than going to a restaurant.
Give this cheese fondue mix a try. If you don't want to go all in by buying several boxes for a group, just buy one and try it out first. It's worth a shot! (Don't worry, though -- I will give you some recipes you can try if you really, really want to make it from scratch.)
What You Need to Make Cheese Fondue
To make fondue, you need a fondue set. And there are two different types.
A traditional Swiss fondue set
With a traditional set, you heat the cheese and keep it warm using a Sterno can that sits under your pot. Some sets will even have a special container to set the Sterno can down in. A traditional pot is nice because you're not reliant on electricity or dealing with power cords, plus, it's traditional.
This fondue pot has the best reviews on Amazon. It's a little on the pricier side, so grab it if you see it under $100!
An Electric fondue set
An electric pot just plugs into an outlet and keeps your fondue warm. A lot of people prefer them because they're less expensive than a traditional set.
This well-rated electric fondue pot is a great choice if you're looking for affordability.
How to Make Cheese Fondue at Home
Cheese Fondue Mix
Making cheese fondue from a mix is so easy that my 4-year-old could do it. So easy and so good.
There are two ways to heat your fondue mix:
- Cut open the package and pour the cheese into your fondue pot. Heat the fondue pot on medium heat and stir frequently.
- Or if you want to melt your cheese faster, just pour it into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it up a few minutes at a time, stirring every so often. Then transfer it to your fondue pot to keep warm.
Recipes for Making Fondue From Scratch
If you are determined to make your fondue from scratch, try one of these great recipes:
- Tyler Florence's Cheese Fondue from Food Network
- Cheddar Cheese Fondue with Beer from Allrecipes
- Slow Cooker Swiss Fondue from Spruce Eats
- Fireball Fondue from Delish
- Smoky 3-Cheese Fondue from Half Baked Harvest
Let me know if you try one of them and like it!
What To Dip in Cheese Fondue
Baguette is the traditional and most popular cheese fondue dipper, but you can use any kind of speciality bread that you'd like. Just make sure to toast your bread cubes to give them a little more oomph when you dip.
There are lots of other things you can dip in your fondue, too, especially if you want to include more veggies in your menu or if anyone in your group is eating a Keto diet and can't have bread.
Here are some other fun and creative cheese fondue dippers:
- cherry tomatoes
- cooked baby potatoes
- steamed green beans
- roasted red peppers
- roasted asparagus
- roasted zucchini
- roasted cauliflower
- cured meats
Fun Cheese Fondue Ideas
Want some fun ideas for serving cheese fondue to friends and family? Here are a few of my favorite:
- Invite friends for a fondue potluck. You provide the cheese, and everyone else can bring a different dipper to share.
- Host a big cheese fondue party. You provide all of the food, and each person brings $5 to offset the cost of the fondue (it's a lot cheaper than going out to a restaurant!).
- Put together a cheese fondue food bar. Arrange all of the dippers in a buffet line and at the end, place 2-3 fondue pots with different types of cheese fondue. Use the recipes above, and you could even include some tortilla chips and queso as an option.
- Develop a new holiday tradition. Like I mentioned before, my family eats cheese and chocolate fondue every Christmas Eve. Even my kids look forward to eating it because it reminds them of Christmas. It's a perfect (and delicious) way to elevate a holiday or a special evening.
- Make cheese fondue a date night. A package of Emmi cheese fondue is the perfect amount for 2 people. Top it off with either some chocolate fondue or chocolate-covered strawberries, and you've got the perfect date!
Soooo...what do you think? Are you ready to make cheese fondue at home? Whether you make your fondue from scratch or cheat and use a mix, eating cheese fondue with friends is easy, fun, and a unique way way to spend an evening together. Plan a fondue party for your next get-together!
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