If there’s something that winter makes me crave, it is definitely cheese fondue. I mean, is there really a better way to spend a cozy winter evening than with your best friends or all of your family gathered around a warm cheese pot? Dipping bread in a charmingly aromatic cheese while sipping a glass of white wine. Not only does it warm you up during the frosty winter months, but it also makes for a lovely social gathering. But what if you are vegan or just prefer vegetarian options – does it mean a goodbye to fondue? Absolutely not! Nothing really beats a fondue feast and there are definitely ways to go vegan with fondue. Get ready, because you might find yourself around a steaming pot sometime soon.
How to Get Started
To get started with fondue, you will need a pot designed for cheese. There are different types of pots available and it is important to choose the right one, as pots designed for chocolate fondue are not always suitable for cheese. You can choose between a ceramic and a metal fondue pot depending on your own needs. A ceramic pot is perfect if you’re planning on using it for cheese and desserts only, but if you have a feeling that you might use it for anything that requires higher temperatures, it is safer to go with the metal one. Cheese fondue pots are usually sold as a set which includes the pot, forks that you use for dipping, a fondue stand, and a flame snuffer. Note that the fuel is normally purchased separately, but don’t worry, just head to the closest kitchen supplies store and ask for fondue fuel gel, or even easier, order it online. There are also electric fondue sets available nowadays, but I definitely recommend going for the traditional one as it makes the whole experience a lot more authentic. The price range for a fondue set is usually from 50€ to 120€. For a wide selection of fondue sets check out Amazon, for example. A fondue pot might feel like an investment and considering its special nature, you might question if it’s worth the price. Don’t let this stop you though, and look for secondhand options. Fondue pots are highly durable nowadays and once you get your hands on one, it’ll serve you for years.
How to Make Vegan Fondue
Traditionally cheese fondue is made from different types of cheese, but when going vegan with fondue there are actually numerous ways to prepare it. Some recipes use vegan cheese as their core element whereas others rely on vegetables and other ingredients which support creating a cheesy texture and flavor. If you prefer your fondue very cheese-like, I recommend this recipe. The recipe is delicious and gets dangerously close to a classic cheese fondue made with dairy. It uses vegan cheese as its main ingredient and is not only vegan, but also nut free. The preparation time for the recipe is also less than 30 minutes, so it’s perfect if you don’t feel like signing up for an entire night of cooking. In case you want to be more adventurous and try something completely new, you should try this recipe. It uses white rice, potatoes, and cashew nuts in place of cheese, which also makes it for a little lighter option. Again, incredibly tasty.
Dippers and Accompaniments
Now that you have a pot full of bubbly melted vegan cheese, the only things you’re missing are bread and your favorite accompaniments. Traditionally, Swiss cheese fondue is eaten with bread, potatoes and pickles, but in my opinion, there is no right or wrong way to eat fondue. For fondue bread I would recommend any crusty bread, such as French baguette or ciabatta. Anything too fresh tends to get a soggy texture when soaked in cheese, so make sure to buy your bread at least a day prior to your fondue night. Along with cheese and bread you can pair your fondue with whatever you fancy. You might like some veggies such as cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and steamed broccoli, or complement it potatoes and olives as well. To add some extra protein, you might go for tofu or some vegan charcuterie meats. Experiment with different flavors and textures to find your own favorites.
And now, ring up your best friends, prepare your cheese, assemble your accompaniments around it, light up some candles to make it even cosier and finally, enjoy your vegan-friendly fondue feast. And hey, New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, so what would make for a better celebration dish to welcome the new year than delicious vegan fondue!