It’s getting hot in here, so take out your fondue skewers. April 11 is National Cheese Fondue Day, and you need to be prepared for the steamy, creamy goodness of a decadent fondue pot.
Why does fondue have its own holiday? I’ll forget you’re even questioning the justification of that and provide some answers. Fondue, it turns out, has actually been a part of food culture since 800 BCE. Homer mentions the dish in the Iliad, describing it as a concoction of goat cheese, wine, and flour:
In this the woman, as fair as a goddess, mixed them a mess with Pramnian wine; she grated goat’s milk cheese into it with a bronze grater, threw in a handful of white barley-meal, and having thus prepared the mess she bade them drink it.
I wouldn’t recommend drinking fondue the way the goddess suggests, unless you’ve quite a rough work day. But that is proof of the importance of fondue in our society. So now that you’re convinced the celebration of this holiday is absolutely imperative, you can test out some of the following recipes.
First up is the Classic Swiss Fondue. The Swiss consider fondue to be a cornerstone of their food history, with a cookbook by Anna Margaretha Gessner from the 17th century mentioning a dish that melts cheese and wine together. Many tales are also told of the first people to settle in the Swiss mountains making fondue as a means of sprucing up leftover bread pieces. So if you want to enjoy fondue with a nod to history, try out this recipe. It includes Gruyère, Raclette, nutmeg, and garlic.
This is not a recipe for your average fondue. This Turkish Cheese Fondue with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Cornbread Croutons is from the Black Sea region of Turkey. The combination of cornmeal with melted cheese actually conjures up flavors of cheesy popcorn. Created by Chef Ana Sortun (a Parisian cooking school grad), this dish is sure to warm you up and surprise the taste buds.
This recipe from Bon Appétit for New Potatoes and Three-Cheese Fondue will make you wonder why you never thought of pairing potatoes with a fondue pot before. I simply wasn’t dreaming big enough. This dish combines parmesan, Gruyère, and cream cheese to make a delectable, simmering dip for the peeled potatoes.
The Aged White Cheddar and Cider Fondue is one dreamy pot, let me tell you. This dish includes not one but two types of cheddar. The mild cheddar mixes with a sharp white cheddar beautifully, and the duo gets a flavor kick with the addition of cayenne pepper and hard cider. We suggest the Gold Creek Aged White Cheddar and a dry cider like Crispin’s for that European flair.
After testing out some of the savory fondue dishes, finish off National Cheese Fondue Day right with a dessert edition. This Crème Fraîche & Semi-Sweet Chocolate Fondue will melt your heart. Pair it with strawberries, shortbread, your finger, anything!
Don’t you love the holidays?