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The Earliest Known Recipe For Fondue Is 1699 But Didn’t Become Popular For Centuries

Observed annually on April 11th, National Cheese Fondue Day recognizes a food holiday many enjoy. Fondue is a dish of melted cheese or other ingredients, served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a small portable stove (réchaud).  Participants then dip the bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. Cheese fondue consists of a blend of cheeses, wine, and seasoning.

  • A 1699 book published in Zurich, under the name “ is known for having the earliest known recipe for cheese fondue.  It calls for grated or cut up cheese melted with wine and for the bread dipped into it.
  • The first known recipe with cheese and wine was published under the name “Cheese Fondue” in 1875.
  • The success of fondue may be contributed to the introduction of cornstarch to Switzerland in 1905.
  • The melted cheese dish known as fondue is Swiss in origin.
  • The word “fondue” hails from the French language. It originates from the past particle of the verb, ‘fondre’ which means to melt in French
  • the chocolate version of fondue, which involved dipping pieces of food into a warm pot of chocolate, was invented in New York City during the early 1960s and was made by a Swiss.
  • Cow herders, who had long winters with few provisions, invented the dish.
  • The Swiss nobles liked the dish so much that they adapted it from its humble beginnings to make it a dish of the nobility.
  • Fondue became popular in the U.S. during the mid-1960s after American tourists discovered it in Switzerland.
  • Over 100 varieties of cheese fondue exist, each with a unique name and different blend of cheeses, wine, and seasoning.
  • Tradition states that if bread falls off a woman’s fork and into the pot she must kiss her neighbor. If a man drops anything into the pot he has to buy a round of drinks for the table.
  • Written records of fondue date back to the late 17th century, when a bare bones version of the dish calling for cheese, wine, and bread for dipping appeared in a Swiss cookbook.
  • Fondue showed up in print in various other incarnations through the 18th and 19th centuries, the recipes calling for eggs and often construed as something closer to a custard or cheese soufflé than the hot dip that we know it as today.
  • A recipe for a sauce made from Pramnos wine, grated goat’s cheese and white flour appears in Scroll 11 (lines 629-645) of Homer’s Iliad and has been cited as the earliest record of a fondue.
  • By way of returning soldiers and travelers, Swiss cheese fondue began showing up on menus at many of New York’s finest restaurants.
  • Fondue was initially created during the 18th century with an intention for the poor to be able to eat something. It offered a delicious way for people to utilize old and hard cheese and stale bread.
  • Only drink white wine or hot black tea with your fondue and never have a cold beer, water or coca-cola. Rumour has it; it will cause the cheese to solidify into a hardball in your stomach and cause discomfort.


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