The Delicious Tradition of Fondue

cheese fondueEditor’s Note: Fondue is a fond holiday tradition of the Lehman family, so today we’re sharing the yummy goodness with you! Keep reading to find two great fondue recipes, perfect for your holiday get-togethers.

When I was a young bride – receiving a fondue set as a bridal gift was as common as receiving a toaster. Having fondue parties were all the rage – then fondue faded from the spotlight. Fondue is now making a delicious comeback. Enjoyed with today’s artisan breads, cheeses and year-round availability of fresh fruits, it is a perfect time for fondue to be popular again.

The word fondue comes from the French word, ‘fondre’, which means ‘to melt.’ Yet the history of where fondue itself started is still today shrouded in mystery.

Food historians do agree:

  • It originated in the regions we now know as France or Switzerland.
  • Like many of the foods we enjoy, fondue started as food of the working class.
  • Meats played a minor role of the everyday mealtimes of a peasant family.
  • Economics and availability of fresh food during the long winters played an important part in fondues’ creation.

Tips to remember:

  • When choosing a fondue set – choose one with a dipping bowl that’s made of a material that distributes heat evenly. Ceramic sets are easily available and a perfect choice. Dipping forks need to be well built and heat safe.
  • Always use caution with hot liquids and open flame – especially around children.

Now let’s get down to making some fondue.

Family-Friendly Cheese Fondue

  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine cold water with cornstarch and nutmeg and mix together well.

Bring chicken stock to a low simmer and gradually whisk the cornstarch mixture into the heated stock – continuing to whisk until smooth – add lemon juice mix well. Gradually stir in cheese, blending well.

Serve in the fondue pot over lighted tea candle

Enjoying fondue doesn’t stop with savory cheese flavors. Chocolate with its low melting point makes it an ideal and delicious medium for fondue. Dipping sliced fresh fruit, candy and marshmallows are only a start.

Chocolate Fondue

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream until hot, but not simmering. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Blend in the vanilla.

There is no end to the flavors and ingredients you can use to make fondue or to dip into it.

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.