Thought Leader Series: Cheese fondue makes the ultimate gourmet appetizer

Gourmet dining at home just got easier... and a lot more fun. With your new fondue pot (one of the most highly sought-after kitchen gadgets), you've opened a new world of dining possibilities. From appetizers to desserts, and everything...

Cheese fondue

Gourmet dining at home just got easier... and a lot more fun. With your new fondue pot (one of the most highly sought-after kitchen gadgets), you've opened a new world of dining possibilities. From appetizers to desserts, and everything in between, fondue gives you a fun outlet for entertaining.

Make a delicious cheese fondue appetizer to share with your friends.

Fondue's fantastical origins

Let's start at the very beginning. (It's a very good place to start!). The concept of dipping bread into melted cheese goes back a long, long way. Perhaps, according to BBC, even as far back as the much-fabled Trojan War where a similar dish was made from goat's cheese, wine and flour. Although early Greeks might not recognize today's fondue, surprisingly not a whole lot has changed as far as cheese fondue goes. After World War I, fondue along the lines of what we know today as cheese fondue, made its first major forays out of Switzerland due to a cheese cartel. (There actually was such a thing, and you can read about it here.) This is why history is so deliciously cool - we couldn't have made it up.

So, what is fondue now?

Fondue now has taken on a whole different meaning. It's become a tasty trend that's not going away anytime soon - entire restaurant chains have been based around it. So, what is it? Using fondue pots, which are super cool kitchen gadgets, you can create wonderful molten options to cook or dip your foods. The sky is pretty much the limit, although the most popular options fall into three categories -- cheese, broth or oil, and chocolate/dessert. With a fondue pot in your kitchen arsenal, you can enjoy high-end cuisine from the comfort of your home.

We'd love to share with you in a single article all of the stunning flavor profiles and options for fondue flavors. However, we find that it makes the most sense to split the topic into three separate articles (appetizers, main courses, and desserts) so we can provide you the tastiest options in digestible doses.

Cheese fondue is the ultimate gourmet appetizer

Consider the popularity and wide varietal range of cheese. Now, consider the popularity and wide varietal range of wine (or beer, in some cases). Combine those two things and you've got magic. Specifically gooey, cheesy magic. Using your new fondue pot, you can create a great girls' night in, enjoy a delicious appetizer course with friends, or even host a single course of a progressive dinner. Or ... live a little and enjoy a meal made solely of cheese and some delicious dippers.

Dippers have changed little over the past three thousand years (we think). Surprisingly, or not when you consider how much we still love bread. That said, while delicious crusty breads are still one of the most popular dippers, veggies are a great way to introduce a crumb of health into this awesome appetizer. Carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, olives. If there's something you feel will taste AWESOME dipped in molten cheese, go for it.

Cheese fondue

Cheese fondue recipes are as varied and plentiful as varieties of cheese and wine. And they are all wonderful.

The recipe

The phrase "If you can dream it, you can build it," rings true for cheese fondue. A web search will net you tens of thousands of results (if not hundreds of thousands, depending on search terms.) So start off with a basic recipe and then see how you like the flavors. Adjust and experiment, or try another recipe. Either way, you can't go wrong ... think of all the cheese! With that said, we'll start you off with a tried and true option that you may enjoy.

Three Cheese Fondue Recipe

(modified from AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients:

    • 1 clove garlic

    • 220 g (1 cup) white wine (we love lighter, dry varieties, but you can use any!)

    • 15 g (1 tbsp) butter

    • 15 g (1 tbsp) all purpose flour

    • 200 g (7 oz) Gruyere, shredded or cubed

    • 200 g (7 oz) Emmentaler, shredded or cubed

    • 200 g (7 oz) Sharp Cheddar, shredded or cubed

    • Bread or veggies to dip.

Directions:

    • Slice the garlic in half and rub around the edges of the pan. Dice the garlic and set aside.

    • Melt the butter in the fondue pot over medium heat, and mix in the flour to make a roux.

    • Mix in the wine and heat everything on high until the mixture starts to boil.

    • Add in diced garlic.

    • Add cheese, one handful at a time until evenly melted.

Start dipping your bread or veggies using fondue forks and enjoy! Not a fan of wine, or prefer not to cook with it? There are plenty of options using other liquids to choose from.

Getting started!

Are you ready for a cheese party? Let's see, you've got the history, which is totally fun and enjoyable. You've got a recipe that's easy to follow. And, do you have your fondue pot? If you need to get one of these awesome kitchen gadgets, then browse fondue pots and other cookware to get started creating your ultimate gourmet appetizers and more.

Watch for upcoming posts on fondue main courses and desserts to get more fun ideas and great recipes.