The French cheese fondue is widely known as the fondue savoyarde in France. Prepared with varied types of Rhone Alps cheeses like Comté, Beaufort or Emmental, the traditional Savoy fondue recipe lies in a perfect combination of cheese and white wine. Gathering people around the "fondue pot" to dip chunks of crusty bread into mouth-watering processed cheese is today a common sight in France - even in a sweet version called "chocolate fondue" with chocolate and fruits!
The cheese fondue from Rhône-Alpes has become one of the French gastronomy's most friendliest meals! Originally known as poors' and dairymen's dish, the fondue savoyarde is definitely renowned today for its social aspect. Several specialities from the mountainous regions of France refer to communal dishes cooked on the hearth in an earthenware casserole.
That is precisely how the first Rhone Alps Fondue was created, in the late 17th century, mixing and melting all the leftovers of cheese. Country families began to eat the processed cheese with little pieces of stale bread. It is also believed in the Savoy area that the cheese fondue was originally cooked not to waste the cheese and bread that were produced in the summer and would become hard during the winter.
Anyway, the Savoie fondue's recipe actually dates back to 1930 and consists in combining white wine with processed cheese, garlic seasoning and a bit of cornstarch to thicken the mixture. This wintry dish is nowadays enjoyed in a "fondue pot", in which gruyère or emmental cheese slowly melts over a small burner. Gourmet diners typically use "fondue forks" to dip their chunks of bread.
Top Tip! According to French customs, if you drop a piece of bread into the fondue pot, the other guests may give you a challenge to take up!
Although cheese fondue is the best known kind, many other dishes now use the pot to cook food in sauce, oil or broth. The fondue bourguignonne with Charolais beef - French meat renowned for its high quality - is also a common sight in France, served with a wide range of condiments and mayonnaises.
Dessert fans will be satisfied too with the highly appreciated "chocolate fondue" usually served as a dessert, with biscuits and seasonal fruit like strawberries, grapes, bananas and peaches, to dip into melting dark chocolate.