If the word "fondue" conjures sepia-toned images of the classic 70's wedding gift, it's time for a reintroduction. Originating from Switzerland, fondue involves melting either cheese, chocolate, or oil and dipping into it pieces of fruit, veggies, meat, bread, or other treats for a fun and delicious meal or dessert.
While many of us stare down a long winter spent mostly indoors, we can plan a warming evening of delight with fondue. It's a food and an activity all in one that (with some supervision) can keep the whole family entertained. Try some of these sweet and savory options at home, and discover a new way to spend those chilly, dark evenings or chilly afternoons.
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Cheddar Beer Fondue
Fans of beer and cheese dip will love this fragrant beer and cheddar fondue. Instead of the classic brandy that gives traditional fondue its texture, add a mild beer like lager, kölsch, or bock. Avoid hoppy beers like an IPA, which might overwhelm the flavor. Ham or steak cubes, baguette, soft pretzel cubes, or fresh veggies like broccoli all work as dippers.
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Cheese Fondue with Cognac or Brandy
This classic Swiss fondue pairs perfectly with snowy days. This traditional recipe calls for Kirschwasser, a cherry-based brandy. If you can't find it, any brandy or cognac works. You can also swap out the Emmenthal or Gruyere cheese with Swiss, Gouda, or fontina.
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Easy Chocolate Fondue
Use either high-quality semisweet chocolate chips, chopped chocolate bars, or chocolate melting discs for this simple chocolate fondue. Keep the heat nice and low to prevent the chocolate from scorching and becoming grainy. Use sliced fruit, marshmallows, cake, or even small cookies for dipping.
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French Onion Soup Fondue
With a flavor profile similar to French onion soup, this warming fondue tastes fresh and exciting. Gruyere cheese has the same melty texture as your favorite soup topper. Use cubes of French bread for dipping, or lighten things up with fresh veggies steamed just until crisp-tender.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Vegan Mushroom Fondue
Lovers of plant-based cheese get their fondue fun, too. Nutritional yeast, soy sauce, and miso give this vegan fondue its signature cheesy flavor, while mushrooms add an umami element. You will never miss the dairy.
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Halloween Candy Fondue
Use up that leftover Halloween (or Christmas, or Easter, etc.) candy by turning it into a sweet fondue. For a twist, melt each candy variety separately for a different varieties of fondues. Then go on a taste-testing journey. Strawberries, bananas, pound cake, and even potato chips taste great as dippers.
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Hot Crab Fondue
Choose a demure cheese like mild cheddar for hot crab fondue to keep the flavors balanced. Cream cheese keeps this melt silky, while dry white wine, dijon mustard, shallots, and Old Bay seasoning give it a taste that's similar to your favorite chowder. Fresh crab tastes best, but you can use frozen too.
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Italian Cheese Fondue
Fontina, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses give Italian fondue that assertively funky flavor that cheese-lovers go for. Serve it with cubes of bread, vegetables, breadsticks, or cubes of salami for a fun communal spread or to kick off a special feast.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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The various cheeses used in different types of fondue give each its own distinct flavor. This Fondue Savoyarde, which hails from the Savoie region of the French Alps, uses Comté, Beaufort, Reblochon, or Abondance. Grating the cheeses first allows them to melt evenly.
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Slow Cooker Swiss Fondue
Turn your slow cooker into a fondue pot with this simple Swiss and cheddar cheese version that uses both kirsch and dry white wine to keep it gooey. A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg elevates the flavor, so don't skip it. A loaf of crusty bread makes the perfect vehicle for the cheese.