Fondue Sets

Discover Did You Know

The cornerstone of this frenetic activity is the serving of speciality foods. Fondue epitomizes this trend by making the dining experience the focal point of everyone’s attention.

Consumers continue to seek higher-quality fondue sets, which in turn has spurred manufacturers to create new styles, updating the fashionable and functional appeal of this retro category.

How did fondue originate?

Fondue’s birthplace is Switzerland, where it originated out of necessity. Villagers, isolated for long winter months, had to rely on local products, such as cheese, wine, and homemade bread. As cheese became dry, they melted it in their wine and dipped the bread into it.

Fondue – fonder means to melt or blend in French – was melted originally in a thick earthenware casserole called a caquelon so that the cheese melted slowly and did not become stringy. Cheese fondue was composed of primarily a mixture of Emmenthal and Gruyere cheeses, both well known in Europe and North America. Next, the French added meat fondue cooking at the table in the Burgundy region, called Boeuf Bourguignonne. Asian fondue is the most recent addition, which response to the “healthy eating” lifestyle by cooking meat, etc., in a clear beef broth instead of oil.

Today, fondue is a term not only used to define the cooking elements of the main meal, be they cheese or meat, but also relates to the culinary delights provided by utilizing chocolate fondues for dessert.

We remember fondue from the ’70s – why the renaissance?

Fondue has enjoyed a resurgence due to changing lifestyle trends that make it an excellent cooking or entertainment vessel. Time-pressed families and hosts and hostesses enjoy the ease of preparing a fondue meal, plus the bonus that fondue provides a beautiful way for families and friends to spend time together.

How are today’s fondue sets different?

The days of one-pot fondues are long gone. Specific containers are now crafted in a particular design and material to maximize the success of each fondue meal, be it meat, cheese, or dessert. Today’s fondues also come in a much more comprehensive range of price points and levels of sophistication. The neophyte might decide on the very basic of meat fondue sets, while the lover of fondues may be much more interested in purchasing a top-of-the-line model with many features and benefits.

What type of fondue pot should I purchase?

To consistently achieve success in fondue, your fondue container should be made of a material specifically designed for the food you are cooking. Typically, stoneware or cast iron is used for a cheese fondue. Both of these materials spread heat evenly throughout the container’s bottom and sides.

Chocolate fondue is usually featured in a stoneware container. However, enamel on steel or stainless steel is the best-suited material for a meat fondue set. These materials can withstand the higher temperatures recommended to heat the oil or broth required to cook meat.

What other issues should be considered?

Safety should be your number-one concern as you are working with an open flame at the table while several arms are jockeying for position over a fondue pot. First, make sure that the fondue pot of your choice sits safely on its rack.

Does it matter which type of heating method I use?

The type of heat you can use directly relates to the burner supplied with your fondue set. Most likely, you will use a heating method of either liquid fondue fuel (methyl hydrate), combustible gel, or combustible paste, such as “Sterno.” Both cheese and meat fondue sets feature burners that accommodate some or all of the above methods. Chocolate fondue sets are generally equipped with tea lights, which provide adequate heat for maintaining chocolate in a melted state.

What about accessories?

A variety of fondue accessories will maximize your enjoyment of this cooking method. In addition to a fondue set, you should include:

Meat fondue forks: double-pronged with a hook for better gripping ability and coloured tips for individual identification for those around your dining table.

Traditional cheese fondue forks: triple-pronged forks are ideal for holding crusty cubes of French bread to swirl in the cheese fondue casserole.

Extra burner: always a handy accessory to have should one require an extended burning time.

Other accessories include fondue plates and a condiment set for holding extra sauces or forks to supplement the usual six included in most fondue sets.

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