Do You Fondue?

"Fondue" often triggers images of Valentine's Day chocolate fountains and strawberries. In the culinary world, however, it can be so much more!


Fondue, mastered by the Swiss, is traditionally a concoction of melted cheese, wine and flavorings. It is served hot and by dipping bread pieces on long forks into it. This mixture is held in a communal heated pot for all to dip and enjoy. A variety of different cheeses, though typically French (like Comté), Italian (like Fontina) or Swiss (like Gruyère), can be used in a cheese-based fondue. Other types of fondues include chocolate/dessert fondue (where confections are dipped), broth (where meat and vegetables are cooked), and oil (where meat is cooked).

We have a special version of fondue in our Salmon with Tomato-Basil Fondue Over Rice. Here, fresh tomatoes are cooked down with oil, butter, garlic, wine and basil to make a rich, flavorful sauce. Watch this video to learn how to prepare a tomato* fondue of your own.

The word "fondue" is from the French verb "fondre" which means "to melt." Certain etiquette is associated with fondue since it involves sharing one dish. Double-dipping is frowned upon, and the fork should be used as a vehicle to move the dipped item directly to one's plate (and not his mouth!). One tradition with fondue is that if one's dipped item becomes lost in the pot, that individual is required to buy drinks for all of those sharing. Hold on to that fork tightly!

*Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. Very rich in antioxidants, expecially lycopene and beta-carotene, they can help benefit the heart and even protect from cancer. Tomatoes are also good sources of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin E.