A pot full of melted cheese. This is a sharing dish for everyone around the table. It is served in a special fondue pot that comes with fondue forks. Fondue forks are elongated to not burn your hand on the cheese and they only have two or three slits at the end. To eat fondue, take your fondue fork, pick up a piece of bread or your favourite bite-size dipping food and dip in the fondue. Cover with the melted cheese and eat. Fondue is usually eaten with bite-size pieces of bread but you can dip whatever you like into the cheese. People dip cured meats, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, sausages, apples and more. Another very popular Swiss national dish is raclette, however fondue is the most well known Swiss national dish.
A brief history…
About Switzerland’s national dish
Switzerland is well known for it’s cheese. The first fondue recipe was from Zurich in 1699 called “Käss mit Wein zu kochen”, meaning to cook cheese with wine. Bread was dipped in the cheese. However the first time the word “fondue” was used, it was in a recipe which was more like scrambled eggs with cheese. Later in 1875, the eggs were removed and fondue became the melted cheesy goodness we know today.
Fondue was not a dish for the poor. The expensive cheeses used in fondue were usually export items that were not available to the poor. This made the dish a special treat or accessible only to the rich. The Swiss Cheese Union made fondue the national dish in 1930 to promote Swiss cheese consumption. From the 1950’s, the word fondue was generalised to mean different liquids shared in a communal pot. For example, the popular chocolate fondue or fondue bourguignonne, where meats are cooked in a communal pot of hot oil. However, the most popular and symbolic fondue remains the cheese fondue. Fondue became popular in North America in the 1960’s and subsequently around the world.