Do you consider yourself adventurous around the kitchen? Are you typically a DIYer and cook from scratch or do you tend to have your favorite restaurants on speed dial? It gives me great joy to discover an exciting recipe, hand pick fresh ingredients and make it step by step. If everything is followed to a T, greatness has been achieved resulting in a mouth watering meal or dessert.
My true love is making a dish from scratch but every so often I find a product that is so good it doesn’t need to be recreated. Trader Joe’s La Fondue is one of these products. You are probably familiar with fondue and maybe even have a preference for the chocolate or cheese version. Trader Joe’s La Fondue is a cheese variety so we will be focusing on that today.
The word fondue is French and originates from the word fondue which means to melt. The food Fondue is actually a Swiss delicacy, first seen in western Switzerland which is the French speaking region.
Fondue is a great way to bring friends or family together at any social gathering because it has a communal aspect that brings groups into a close circle and evokes conversation. We used it to serve 8 people which feels like a fair amount for an appetizer.
Trader Joe’s La Fondue honestly knocks it out of the park. I consider a premade product a winner when it’s as good or close to as good as the recipe would be if I made it from scratch. Trader Joe’s fondue is glorious for that reason.
I recently served it at a holiday party accompanied by dippers that included Trader Joe’s roasted organic broccoli florets, toasted cubed organic French baguette pieces and cut up quarters of the organic petite potato medley. I received so many compliments on my “homemade” fondue. Not one person even questioned that it was made in just 5 minutes!
La Fondue has a nice rich flavor and one that you would expect with traditional cheese fondue. Gruyere and Emmental (otherwise known as Swiss Cheese) are commonly used in fondue recipes. The addition of Comte, white wine and cherry brandy really balance out the flavors and make this fondue more authentic and full bodied.
Trader Joe’s La Fondue Ingredients
La Fondue is a product of France and rightfully so includes three French/Swiss varieties of cheese that are all considered benchmarks when it comes to melting cheeses.
The blend of Comte, Gruyere and Emmental creates a cheese trifecta with a rich flavor profile, a creamy texture and salty and nutty undertones. The full list includes:
EMMENTAL, COMTE, AND GRUYERE CHEESE (COW MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES), WATER, WHITE WINE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, GARLIC, SODIUM CITRATE, SALT, KIRSCH CHERRY BRANDY, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, WHITE PEPPER.
Well, just about everything when it comes to Trader Joe’s Fondue is good or great! For real, the ease and simplicity of this ready to eat in 5 minute appetizer (or main course) makes me want to have another dinner party.
I was able to cut up and prep the dippers all in the time that the fondue was heating. It also comes in a microwavable container that doubles as a serving bowl. This makes it easy to transport anywhere and make it right before you need it.
All at a price of $7.99. An absolute bargain when you think about having to go out and purchase 3 blocks of cheese, white white and brandy.
The list of positives far outweighs the negatives here but here it goes. For one, the best before date was only two weeks from the date that I purchased it. Since this isn’t actually an expiration date it’s probably safe to say it’ll last closer to a month. As always check the product closely before you use it and if something doesn’t look right throw it away.
There are also some added ingredients such as sodium citrate (an additive which helps the cheese melt into the desired consistency), modified corn starch (a thickening agent/stabilizer) and sodium phosphate (another thickening agent/stabilizer and used to balance ph).
When it comes to convenience foods there is always a balance to strike as some of these could be avoided if making fondue from scratch. As much as I dislike modified anything, I find it acceptable in this recipe because while this is an awesome product, it isn’t on my weekly menu. I save this for a gathering or special occasion.
Is Trader Joe’s Fondue Gluten Free?
Trader Joe’s La Fondue isn’t explicitly labeled gluten free. This is likely due to the modified corn starch.
According to beyondceliac.com, the vast majority of modified corn starch in the United States is gluten-free. Generally, modified corn starch is made from corn, waxy maize and potatoes, meaning that those types are gluten free. It may contain wheat but if the product containing the starch does contain wheat it must be declared on the food label.
That being said, it is always recommended that you do your own research and make sure it fits your dietary needs.
Where Can I Find La Fondue In Trader Joes?
The La Fondue can be found in the refrigerated cheese section amongst the large variety of cheese Trader Joe’s offers.
How Long Does It Stay Warm Enough for Dipping?
After removing from the microwave you’ll get about 10-15 minutes for dipping before the cheese starts to solidify again. That may not sound like much but if your guests enjoy it as much as mine, you won’t have much left after that time. It slowly starts to cool so you get a little extra eating time as well.
If you have any fondue left you can pop back in the microwave for 30 second increments to reheat it.
If you have a tiny crockpot or one of those electric fondue pots you could use either to keep the fondue at the right temperature and consistency.
What To Dip In Cheese Fondue
- Cubed bread (Baguette or sourdough)
- Roasted Potatoes
- Fruit: Apples or Pears
- Steamed or Roasted Veggies – Broccoli, Zucchini, Brussel Sprouts, Baby Corn, Carrots
- Grilled Shrimp
- Sausage (Sweet or Spicy) or even Chorizo
- Cubed Salami or Pepperoni
Trader Joe’s La Fondue Heating Instructions
Prepare the Container:
Remove the lid and peel away aluminum foil COMPLETELY. (This is important as the container will be in the microwave).
DEEPLY PIERCE the cheese surface with a fork several times. Make sure to pierce through the cheese to the bottom of the cup (but be careful to not pierce the cup!)
Heat the Fondue:
Microwave the fondue container UNCOVERED on HIGH for 1 minute.
CAREFULLY remove the fondue container from the microwave and stir (contents may be hot!).
Place the fondue container back in the microwave and heat on HIGH for an additional 4 minutes.
Serve the Fondue:
Let the fondue container stand IN THE MICROWAVE for 1-2 minutes before serving.
As always when removing a container from the microwave USE CAUTION when handling as the FONDUE CONTAINER MAY BE HOT.
Give the Fondue a good mix once its no longer too hot to handle
Perfectly Creamy Fondue
Transfer to a bowl if you’d like or serve it right out of the container
Take out the skewers and start dipping!
Trader Joe’s La Fondue is an awesome pick up for your next get together. It will wow your guests and it is easy to prepare with an upscale vibe. Even though you can’t stock up on this product, we think it is worth grabbing one on your next visit to the store. You will not be disappointed.