Fondue is fun, dude! Fondue, melted cheese in a special pot, allows you to dip anything you like in the pot and create delicious treats. What is the best cheese for fondue?
Fondue is actually a Swiss specialty, designed to be shared family-style. In the 20th century it was promoted as a Swiss national dish and it enjoys popularity all over the world to this day. The key to a great fondue is using a proper fondue pot and sharing it with great company.
If you have the right tools, the right pot, and the right people, all you need is the best cheese! The best cheese for fondue will melt easily and impart a pleasant, but not overpowering, flavor. Gruyere, gouda, and blended Swiss cheeses are perfect for fondue. In fact, we believe the best fondue cheese is a blend of Swiss cheeses.
This handy guide will walk you through your different fondue cheese options. You’ll get the inside lane on finding the best cheese for fondue and choosing the right cheese for your next fondue party.
Read on for the font of fondue knowledge!
Best Cheese for Fondue
You can make fondue on the stove, but it’s best to use a traditional fondue pot. This pot, from Oster, gives you all the tools you’ll need to host a great fondue party.
Be sure to serve your fondue in a communal pot. Traditionally, this pot was heated with a lamp or candles, but modern methods of keeping the pot hot are great too. Although some people call the use of melted chocolate in this type of fountain “fondue”, we’re talking specifically about an old-school cheese fondue.
Fondue is so easy to make. Many fondue pots enable you to simply melt your cheese in the pot, but you can also melt it atop your stove and transfer to the pot for serving. Some suggestions for what to place in your fondue:
- Tart apple (like Granny Smith)
- Bread (particularly anything crusty)
- Cured meats
- Crackers or chips
As you can see, sweet, sour or salty flavors are perfect for fondue! You want whatever you’re dipping in the cheese to stay together and not fall apart. Specialized fondue forks are a great way to dip your food in the pot, but toothpicks or long skewers will work just as well.
Best Cheeses for Fondue
1.Swiss Cheese Combo
Our favorite cheese for fondue is a mixture of three types of Swiss cheese. These cheeses, blended together, produce a subtle, delicious flavor that you just can’t get from one of the cheeses on its own.
To make this mix, you want equal parts gruyere, gouda, and fontina.
Be sure to finely grate your cheeses, mix them together and then mix cornstarch into your cheese. This bold, assertive flavor is perfect for fondue as it will enhance your foods without overpowering them.
Because these cheeses also have a soft, creamy texture, they’ll ensure an even texture in the fondue pot.
Gruyere on its own is a great fondue cheese. Although it comes in hard blocks, when melted fondue has a soft texture and sweet, slightly salty flavor.
Aged gruyere has a more complex, earthy palate, shedding some of the sweetness of its less mature brethren.
The combo of flavor and texture that gruyere provides makes it perfect for fondue.
Gouda, with its bright yellow color and slightly woody flavor is the next best bet for your fondue.
This creamy cheese is native to the Netherlands, where the Dutch make it from cow’s milk.
Gouda isn’t quite as hard as gruyere, and its nutty sweetness combines with its sharpness for a great taste. Gouda’s softness and particular flavor make it ideal for melting, and therefore ideal for fondue.
This Italian cheese is also made from cow’s milk, but like many Italian cheeses it’s relatively hard and crumbly.
It has airy openings, not unlike the classic Swiss cheese.
Its flavor profile is both sweet and savory, like many Italian cheeses, and despite its harder texture it’s actually quite creamy to eat. Because it melts easily and has a creamy texture it’s perfect for fondue.
Comte, the most sought after French cheese of all!
It is not dissimilar from gruyere, but it is aged for far longer, giving it a denser, more mature flavor profile. Comte is a highly aromatic cheese, so when it melts your nostrils will be tantalized!
Comte has a fruity, sweet taste, perfect for a variety of foods. It is perhaps not well suited to overly sweet foods like pineapple, but that’s up to you!
How to Choose Fondue
Other popular cheeses for fondue include beaufort and emmental. Even cheddar is occasionally used in fondue, if usually mixed with a sweet cheese thanks to its sharp lactic flavor.
You should consider a few factors when choosing a cheese for your fondue.
- More expensive cheese is generally of a higher quality. Better cheese equals a better fondue.
- Mixing cheeses - usually 1-3 different cheeses will do - gets better results than using only one type of cheese
- Firmer cheeses are better than soft ones
- Buttery or creamy textured cheeses are best for fondue as their melt will be smooth
- Grate your cheese before you melt it. Don’t just melt a big block of cheese!
Hopefully this guide to fondue answers all your questions! It’s really easy to make a smooth, delicious fondue if you have the right cheese, the right tools, and you know what you’re doing.
Check out our handy question section to see if there’s anything you were wondering about!
Can You Keep Leftover Fondue?
In short, yes. Keep it in the fridge or freezer. It’s easy to reheat and super versatile. You can serve fondue again, or put your leftover fondue on a sandwich!
Is Fondue a Main Course or an Appetizer?
The only difference between a main course and an appetizer, usually, is your appetite!
If you choose the right dipping options you won’t need to worry about a main course. Because you can use fruit, vegetables, and meats, it’s so easy to fill up eating fondue. Perfect!