No matter what cheese fondue recipe you use, a pot of melted cheese will warm the heart
My husband and I eating our beer cheese fondue
When I was little, Candy Land was my idea of Utopia. Remember the mountains made of gum drops, forests of candy canes, and a swamp drenched with sweet, sticky molasses? I imagined rivers flowing with soda and milk chocolate roofs on gingerbread houses.
But now that I'm older and my palate is a little more refined (not to mention I have a better sense of city planning), I'd like to see roads paved with bricks of dark chocolate, gardens sprouting smoked salmon and capers, trees laden with hummus-pods, and ponds filled with melted fontina cheese, lined with baguettes swaying in the breeze. (Maybe the red light district would be built out of pizza and cans of microbrews, and you just find yourself wandering around there late at night, looking for a deep dish...)
Cheese fondue truly is a fantasy come to life: a large pot full of melted cheese, the perfect dip for fresh bread, cooked meats, steamed vegetables, and raw fruit. And not only do you not look like self-indulgent glutton when you’re scraping the cheese crust off the bottom, you look like a connoisseur of the finer things in life. A foodie. A gourmet. Someone who spent a semester abroad in Europe.
Cheese fondue is the original fondue, it's what everybody meant when they said fondue until the mid-twentieth century, when a clever chef started experimenting with chocolate, oil, and broth fondues. I wouldn't give him too much credit for "inventing" chocolate-covered desserts, tempura, or hot pot, but he should get some points for having diners prepare the meal themselves.
Photo by Tamboko The Jaguar; A good-looking fondue
Cheese fondue tips
The best fondue cheeses are:
Visit The Tabletop Food Shop to check out some great fondue cheeses.
Most recipes will call for a blend of at least two kinds of cheeses. Always use the best-quality cheese you can afford. Never, ever use a processed cheese to make a fondue.
Or check our full recipe index for even more ideas!
Some of my favorite online stores might have just what you need for your next tabletop meal!
Asian Food Grocer has a great selection of essential ingredients and many hard-to-find items.
Cilantro Cook Shop has a great selection of quality raclette and fondue sets.
For The Gourmet has an amazing selection of cheeses and chocolates.
Sephra specializes in chocolate, caramel and fruit fondues... and fountains.