Fondue is so much fun! You get a nice fountain or a dipping pot and you get to make your own creations. Of course, the traditional fondue is in a fondue pot. You can make fondue to your liking and you can enjoy it in so many different ways.
Fondue can be catered to almost any taste or preference and it’s so simple if you have the right tools. You can set up a buffet of options that will be perfect when they’re dipped in that fondue pot. In fact, there are even restaurants that are fondue-themed.
There are so many different kinds of cheese, it’s (almost) impossible to choose the best one for fondue.
What is the best cheese for fondue? The cheese for traditional fondue is Gruyere. However, the absolute best cheese for fondue is a blend of 1/3 Gruyere, 1/3 Gouda, and 1/3 Fontina.
In this guide, we will talk about a variety of cheese options to give you plenty of insight as to the best cheese for fondue. We will fill you in on all the secrets for choosing the best cheese and how you can know if you’re using a cheese that will work well.
We hope you’ll keep reading to learn the best cheese for fondue and more.
The Ultimate Guide to the Best Cheese for Fondue
Fondue is a traditional Swiss dish that is made of melted cheese.
You can make fondue on the stove or now you can even purchase a traditional fondue pot.
We recommend this fondue pot from Oster if you need a good solution. It comes with pot sticks and everything.
The melted cheese is served in a communal pot. Originally, this pot was kept heated using candles or even a lamp but now that is not usually necessary. You will want a method for keeping your fondue nice and hot though.
In particular today, we’re discussing cheese fondue and not the chocolate fondue like what you also now see in fountains and pots. Chocolate is always nice but our focus today is cheese.
The nice thing about fondue is you can use it for almost anything. Whether you’re setting up a party table with various dipping items or you’re using it for a sauce to cover meats and seafood dishes, fondue is quite versatile.
It’s simple to make.
Most fondue pots actually allow you to just make it in the pot but you can also make it on the stovetop and then transfer it to a pot or dish of your choosing. It’s best if you look at what your intentions are with the cheese fondue and what your pot can accomplish.
Here are some of our favorite uses for fondue.
- Any type of vegetable
- Apples (especially Granny Smith)
- Crusty or semi-hard bread
- Cured meat (jerky, kielbasa, pepperoni, etc.)
- Various seafood (shrimp, crab, lobster)
- Crackers or chips
These are just a few of the most common things that you can use in cheese fondue. All of them are quite delicious and you can use just about anything that is dippable and have relatively great success.
What you want to ensure is that whatever is being dipped won’t just fall apart in the cheese.
You can use fondue forks or something like a toothpick or skewer. You probably want whatever dipping tool you use to have plenty of length for dipping purposes.
The Best Cheeses For Fondue
You can use any selection of cheese you want. You can choose to use one single type of cheese or you can mix multiple types of cheese. Traditional Swiss fondue used a variety of Swiss-type cheeses with a bit of dry white wine.
Without further ado, here are our favorite cheese options.
1. Swiss Cheese Fondue
Our very favorite option for fondue is a mixture of 3 types of Swiss cheese. These cheese blend very well together to give you a smooth and rich flavor that you simply can’t beat.
In fact, if you search for fondue recipes, most of them will agree with our assertion of mixing these 3 cheese types in equal proportions.
The best cheese ratio for fondue: 1/3 Gruyere, 1/3 Gouda, and 1/3 Fontina.
There is just something about these 3 options when combined and melted together which makes them absolutely delicious for your fondue.
The key is to grate these cheeses to a fairly fine grated size and mix them together well before then thoroughly mixing them with cornstarch.
With the blend of these 3 kinds of cheese, you get a bold and complex flavor that was meant for fondue. They are also all creamy cheeses, which means they melt smoothly together for the perfect fondue.
Gruyere cheese is a yellow Swiss cheese that is hard in block form. It has a sweet but also slightly salty flavor and it ages very well.
Aging this cheese can also adjust the overall flavor. As it ages, the flavors become more complex and earthy, losing some of the nutty flavors of youth.
It is because of the flavor and the creamy texture of this cheese that it works so well for fondue.
The flavor mixes with an assortment of dipping options and the melting process will be smooth and simple.
The next best cheese option for your fondue is gouda cheese. Gouda cheese is a much brighter yellow type of cheese than Gruyere but has a delightful flavor all the same. This cow’s milk cheese has a mild woody and smoky flavor.
Gouda is one of the most popular cheeses in the world and it is a creamy Dutch cheese. This cheese is also semi-hard, which makes it great for melting.
It’s defined as having a caramel and nutty flavor that is just the right mixture of sharp and mild. Gouda is used as one of the more popular melting cheeses, which makes it really great for fondue
Fontina is a cheese hailing from northern Italy and is made from cow’s milk.
Fontina has a dense interior with airy openings. It looks much more like the Swiss cheese you’re used to seeing in your local deli.
This cheese has a sweet and savory flavor mixture, which gives your fondue delightful flavor for dipping anything in.
This is also a semi-hard cheese that is very creamy in nature. It melts well and is flavorful, making it another perfect option for fondue.
5. Comte Cheese
This is French cheese. It is the most sought after French cheese on the market. Comte cheese is very similar to Gruyere cheese but the aging process is slightly different. Comte is typically aged much longer.
The flavor of Comte cheese is mild, fruity, and slightly sweet so it may not be perfect for every single dipping product but we think you will find that it pairs nicely with other cheeses and the flavor is mild enough you can still dip whatever you please.
How to Choose Fondue Cheese
There are many options here and there are many more options where these came from. A couple of other options you might want to consider using on their own or even as part of a mixture include Beaufort cheese and Emmental cheese.
You can use cheddar but it’s not nearly as good as the traditional Swiss cheeses listed here.
When you’re choosing your fondue cheese, there are some specific tips that can help you choose the best cheese for fondue. Here are our tips for you.
- Be willing to spend a little more and get good high-quality cheese. The quality of cheese can make a significant difference in the results of your fondue making.
- You get better results if you mix 1-3 different types of cheese.
- Use firm, mountain-style cheese if at all possible.
- Try to find cheese that is buttery and/or creamy because these melt the smoothest.
- Grate your cheese before melting – do not just cut, slice, or block it.
We hope that you find this guide to the best cheese for fondue to be a valuable and informative resource for making the most smooth and delicious fondue ever. It’s so easy to do if you just make the effort to do it right.
We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that could be helpful to you.
Can You Keep Leftover Fondue?
Yes! Store it up nicely and stick in the fridge or freezer. You can easily reheat that cheese fondue and use it for things like sandwiches or meat or even broiling some nice toasty cheese bread.
Is Fondue a Main Course or Appetizer?
If you choose your dipping options wisely, you don’t need anything else to accompany your fondue.
Think about it, you can choose an assortment of meats, fruits, and vegetables so there really is no need to add any other courses to the table.
Fondue is a versatile and multi-functional dish and you can create an entire spread around it.
Up Next: The Best Handheld Cheese Graters