Originating in Switzerland in the 18th century, fondue gained massive popularity in the '60s and '70s. A delicious dish ideal for dinner parties, it basically involves bread or other food items being dipped into a communal pot with long fondue forks. The cheese mixture is traditionally made from two types of cheese, some flour, spices like nutmeg and a splash of wine. The flour is an important addition as it helps maintain a sauce-like consistency. Fondues were hugely popular across Switzerland as a way to melt hard cheese, which was an affordable staple in most homes. This communal pot is heated from underneath to keep warm during the entirety of a leisurely meal. You can find fondue sets from most homewares or kitchen stores.
The traditional cheese fondue has since been adapted to take on many different styles and flavours, even expanding to a dessert dish made of chocolate. Be creative when planning your fondue feast and consider adding all sorts of dip-able treats to the mix -- from cubes of meat to quality bread, from baked polenta to vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes and roasted potatoes. Chocolate dessert fondues can benefit from dipping ingredients like sliced banana, halved figs, dried fruit, nuts, meringues, shortbread and biscotti.
A cheese fondue can be a great way to encourage your kids to eat their veggies. Add roasted capsicum, sweet potato, carrots and broccoli to a communal plate and let them start dipping!
A chocolate fondue is a great dinner party dessert. Your guests can choose to enjoy as much or as little as they like -- and fresh fruit dippers will at least mean you're boosting your vitamin intake!
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