Fondue had its beginnings in the Swiss-Jura (French) Alps and is now made all over the world. Fondues were traditional melted cheese or cubes cooked in oil or bouillon, and now include chocolate and all kinds of hot-pot cooking from all over the world.

Traditionally, la fondue was prepared in a caquelon, or a pot made of heavy earthenware, glazed ceramic, or enameled iron to distribute the heat evenly and to retain heat for longer periods of time.  Originally, the peasants probably had the earthenware varieties, while the upper classes favored the iron and the enamel coated iron.  Now, there are endless varieties of vessels for making la fondue.

The French and Swiss say that you must never, never drink water with fondue.  Only kirsch or Fendant wine, or for children, tisane (which is wine mixed with water).  This old wives tale was subsequently debunked by scientists, who proved that the water does not turn the cheese into an undigestible ball in your stomach, but we don’t take any chances at our place.

For added splendor, add a bouquet of skewered vegetables to your fondue table.

Try our favorite recipes…vegetable bouqet

While I am at odds with the masses on this one, it is said that “A pretty woman is more beautiful in a gorgeous dress and a good entrée is transformed by delicious sauce.”  An endless array of sauces is what is desired by most with fondue, but I prefer it undressed or simply dressed, so we only have a few favorite sauces for fondue.

For fondue pots, we like the Emile Henry traditional fondue pot.  Emile Henry’s Flame line of ceramic cookware works on all types of stove tops (gas, electric and halogen) and in all types of ovens (traditional, convention and microwave). The fondue pots are clean, dishwasher-safe (though we don’t put ours in the dishwasher as it ruins the seasoning properties of the ceramic), and easy to handle.  Instructions for curing the ceramic fondue pot and more recipes can be found at Emile Henry’s site for Fondue Instructions.