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The art of fondue

Fondue is synonymous with festive dining. A fun, social food that is delicious and easy to prepare, fondue works for any kind of event, from big celebrations to simple dinners in the company of friends. Whether the style is bourguignonne, Chinese or traditional cheese, the possibilities and varieties are nearly endless!

Cheese fondueChinese fondueFondue bourguignonne


Cheese fondue

Cheese fondue

Cheese fondues are easy to prepare and taste delicious with only a few ingredients required. While they are generally made from white wine and Emmental or Gruyère cheese, there are plenty of other recipes to please any palate. The key to success is finding the right blend of cheeses (never more than three) and liquid (wine, beer, cider, kirsch, etc.).

Tips and tricks:

  • Use approximately 150 g (5 oz.) of cheese per person and half that quantity in liquid. Example: 600 g (20 oz.) of cheese requires around 300 ml (1¼ cups) of liquid.
  • Not sure which cheeses go well together? Here are some winning combinations:
    • Emmental, Fontina and Provolone with dry white wine.
    • Emmental and Swiss Gruyère with kirsch and white wine.
    • Chalisberg, Clos Saint-Ambroise and Mont St-Benoît with blonde ale.
    • Raclette and Gruyère with dry white wine and kirsch.
  • To achieve the perfect texture, finely grate the cheese and incorporate it gradually into the liquid, without letting it boil. Stir continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  • To successfully combine the cheeses and chosen liquid, you need to use a binding agent. There are two options: flour, which must be blended with the grated cheese before adding it to the pot, or corn starch, which must always be added at the end when the cheese has already melted. Include 15 ml (1 tbsp.) of binding agent per 450 g (15 oz.) of cheese.
  • You can enhance the flavour of your fondue by rubbing the sides and bottom of the fondue pot with a clove of garlic prior to cooking.
  • For a smoother texture, add 15 ml (1 tbsp.) of fresh lemon juice.

Suggested sauces and side dishes:

  • Cubes of nut or country-style bread
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Poached shrimp
  • Cooked ham
  • Sliced apples
  • Sautéed rapini
  • Cooked cauliflower or broccoli florets

Try one of these delicious recipes


Chinese fondue

Chinese fondue

Chinese fondue, also called Chinese hot pot, is a Quebec favourite that can be customized for any taste or occasion. The concept is simple: Cook thin slices of meat in a light, flavoured broth (either store-bought or homemade), then coat the meat in a flavourful sauce.

Tips and tricks:

  • Need inspiration? Simply add some cilantro, grated ginger, chopped green onion and dried mushrooms to a beef broth and you’re ready to enjoy!
  • Use approximately 200 g (7 oz.) of meat per person. Save any leftover meat for subs, sandwiches or soups.
  • Allow the broth to boil for several minutes before serving.
  • Broth remaining after the meal can be enjoyed as a soup. Just add some rice noodles or bok choy.
  • A large variety of fondue-ready meats can be found in the frozen food aisle of your grocery store. Go with the classic beef, pork or turkey cuts, or explore new culinary avenues with bison, venison, wild boar, tofu or duck.

Suggested sauces and side dishes:

  • Sauces : chili, dijonnaise, maple, herbs and honey, sun-dried tomato aioli, chutney, yogurt dip, mint and cucumber, etc.
  • Sides : blanched vegetables for immersing in the broth (bok choy, broccoli, carrots, etc.), rice noodles, vegetable/coconut rice, etc.

Try one of these delicious recipes


La fondue bourguignonne

Fondue bourguignonne

Despite being named after the French region of Burgundy, this fondue traces its origins to Switzerland. The technique is to fry beef cubes in very hot oil until desired doneness. Traditionally prepared with tender cuts of beef, fondue bourguignonne can also be enjoyed with pork, venison, turkey, bison or ostrich meat.

Tips and tricks:

  • Plan for 150–225 g of meat per person.
  • Instead of stew cubes, use mechanically tenderized inside round beef cubes, as these cook better in oil.
  • Not all oils withstand high cooking temperatures. Peanut and grapeseed oils are ideal for this type of fondue. For variety, add spices, herbs or seasonings like garlic, thyme or cayenne pepper.
  • Looking for a lower-fat option? Try wine fondue, cooking the cubes of meat in a mix of beef stew and red wine.
  • To bring out the flavours, marinate the meat cubes at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Here are some marinade ideas:
    • Soy sauce, red wine, garlic and green onion
    • Herbs, spices (oregano, savory, basil, parsley, garlic/chili powder) and peanut oil
    • Soy sauce, grated ginger, garlic and sugar

Suggested sauces and side dishes:

  • Sauces: plum, sweet & sour, chutney, curry, peanut, béarnaise, espagnole, tartare, Dijon mayonnaise, etc.
  • Sides: spiced mashed sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes, herbed vegetable hash, green salad, pickled vegetables, etc.


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