Everything You Need to Know About Fondue Parties

May 22, 2024

Say Cheese! 

Imagine being whisked away to the splendour of the Swiss Alps, basking in the glory of a rustic chateau. Picture crisp mountain air, the sun dipping below jagged peaks to cast a soft golden glow over the snow-capped landscape. It's a whirlwind of exhilaration and tranquillity, a scene straight out of a postcard—a moment of pure bliss amidst nature's grandeur. Oh, what a dream come true it would be. 

Everything You Need to Know About Fondue Parties

How do we bring a bit of this magic to our space? Light your matches to your tealight peeps, it’s fondue time!

A Bit Of History: 

Believe it or not, the idea of fondues has a rich and diverse history as the dish itself does. The idea of melting cheese in a pot and mopping it up with day-old bread has been an Alpine tradition for centuries, where the earliest known reference dates back to the late Middle Ages.

During the harsh winter months, produce was scarce, and Swiss villagers had to be pretty innovative to find ways to utilize what little they had. Specifically leftover cheese and bread. And what they found was, by melting down cheese with seasonings and wine (because let’s face it… wine makes everything taste better), a warm hearty meal that could be shared with family and friends was created. 

It wasn’t until the 20th century when Swiss tourism boomed and fondue experienced a revival to become synonymous with Swiss culture and hospitality. But it wasn’t until the '60s and ‘70s that Swiss immigrants and culinary connoisseurs took the entire novelty of fondue across the pond and into international territory. Suddenly Fondue parties were the ‘it’ party theme, with people really experimenting with different blends, dipping ingredients, and even dappling in the concept of dessert fondues. 

And that brings us to today. What started as being considered a poor man’s meal has quickly become one of gastronomies most quaint phenomena that everyone has been raving about. 

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Tips Before You Dip

Tip 1: 

To actually indulge in such indulgence, you’re going to need to pick a base from the four classics, cheese, oil, broth, or chocolate. For those of you who consider yourselves a fondue connoisseur, maintaining and functioning multiple different fondue pots should be a breeze. But for all you newbies, sometimes it’s best to dip your toe in rather than diving straight into the deep end, therefore, stick to one type of base.  

Tip 2: 

Fonduing is the quintessential communal activity that brings people together. Whether you’re strangers or family, this quaint style of eating makes every bite memorable through lively conversation and laughter. 

However, having said that cross-contamination and scorched lips are highly likely. Therefore, warn your guests to refrain from putting their fondue skewers in their mouths. 

Tip 3: 

When it comes to fondue, there’s one cardinal rule that must always be followed - always begin melting your base right before you’re about to dip in. This ensures that your fondue is at its optimal consistency, creamy and smooth, ready to be devoured with whatever accompaniments you’ve prepared. 

That’s So Cheesy: 

Hold on to you’re pokers people, things are about to get cheesy. 

Cheese fondues are the achretypal fondue. So if you’re going to make one, you have to pick this. It’s laced with nostalgia and that’s what makes people continuously lean towards them. 

Everything You Need to Know About Fondue Parties

Traditional cheese fondues are delicate and aromatic because let’s face it, cheese is a meal where the main ingredient is cheese can be extremely heavy. It involves rubbing cloves of garlic on the base of the pot and melting Alpine cheese such as Gruyère, Comté, or fontina in a light white wine broth. 

For dippers, you have to think about what goes with cheese. You know, crusty sourdough bread, roasted potatoes, pear or apple slices, pretzels… oof just thinking about this gets our taste buds salivating. 

Drinks on the other hand are a little more tricky. There are only three types of drinks that you can serve with cheese fondues that won’t let it congeal stomach. White wine which is always a win. Kirsch, a dry European brandy. And herbal tea if you want something more sober. 

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Ohh That’s Soup:

Oil and broth fondues, more commonly known as hot pots, are more traditional in East Asian countries like Japan and China. It involves cooking raw items, both vegetables and meats, in bubblingly hot flavour oil or broth and then dipped in post-cooking dipping sauces for an extra flavour bomb. 

Everything You Need to Know About Fondue Parties

The best types of dippers are thin slices of red meat, chunky pieces of fresh fish, and even chicken skewers. For veggie options think greens, lotus stems, mushrooms, and basically anything that packs a punch of flavour and can soak up the savoury broth or oil. 

Drink options are far more diverse than the options you can have with the cheese fondue. From fragrant green teas to crisp lagers and even aromatic sake or rice wines, the choice really depends on the flavour profile of the broth itself. 

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Sweet Goodness:

Chocolate fondues are by far the most versatile type of fondue on the list. Like, what can’t go with chocolate? Toasted bread? Yes. Bacon? Absolutely. Berries? A total classic. Pizza? Might be taking it a little too far but wouldn’t mind giving it a try. The list is endless. 

Everything You Need to Know About Fondue Parties

Chocolate is such a versatile base that can be infused with a variety of liquids and alcohols to pack that punch and add that zing, it’s a must-try fondue.

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The Bottom Line: 

Fondue. A simple dish that's not only packed with flavour, but can also bring anyone together with its whimsically communal nature. And while devouring the dish would take you mere minutes, the memories you create around this bubbling pot of goodness will undoubtedly last a lifetime. So, light those tealights, gather your loved ones, and let the dipping begin!

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