Monday, December 16, 2019

The Fondue Bible: The 200 Best Recipes (Second Edition) - Ilana Simon

Summary: An updated and upgraded edition of the market leader on fondue, with over 200 recipes.
Fondue is ever popular and is the perfect choice when you want to create a memorable meal experience for family and friends. The Fondue Bible has been a market leader and a trusted resource on fondue cooking for over a decade. In addition to traditional favorites and new twists on those classics, it offers a range of recipes that go well beyond the familiar cheese and chocolate varieties, along with dozens of dips and sauces specially designed to complement the recipes.
There are hot oil fondues such as Ginger Beef Fondue, Zesty Lime Chicken, and Tempura Vegetables, and savory broth fondues such as Mongolian Hot Pot, Honey Garlic Chicken Fondue, and Thai Pork Fondue in Lemon Grass Broth. Traditional recipes with a twist include Emmentaler Fondue with Caramelized Shallots and Cheddar Cheese and Beer Fondue, while decadent finishers include Bittersweet Chocolate Fondue and Cherries Jubilee Fondue. With more than 200 recipes, there's a fondue for everyone.
The Fondue Bible also provides menu-planning suggestions, a guide to using and maintaining different types of fondue pots and lots of tips and tricks for fondue cooking. This updated edition offers 10 new recipes in an entire section devoted to throwing fondue parties. (Summary and pic from amazon.com)

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: My kids love fondue. Actually, my husband and I love fondue, too. Back in college we would go on a special date here and there to The Melting Pot, and it was always a delicious treat. We eventually moved from the city where the Melting Pot was, and now it's an hour away, and also, I bought their cookbook, so we don't go as often. Well, we haven't been for years, actually. And here's the deal--fondue at home is pretty easy, actually. I have two legit fondue pots (both upgraded from the one powered by a tealight back when we were first married). I haven't done the hot oil fondue at home because #toddlers, but for special events (like Valentine's Day) we will do a cheese fondue and a chocolate fondue as a family and call it dinner. I'm a fun mom, ya'll. In fact, for the past few years we've had fondue for Christmas, and we're planning on that again for this year. Christmas Eve will bring ham and a full-on traditional dinner with in-laws and such, but Christmas is fondue. We love it.

I would say we're quite adventurous when we do fondue in that we'll try lots of different cheeses and combinations. My grocery stores here have pretty decent cheese sections, and I can usually find everything listed in a fondue recipe. I can especially find everything listed in the Melting Pot recipe book because there aren't that many recipes and they are pretty basic. Let's talk about The Fondue Bible in regards to this. This book has, like, a bajillion recipes. I'm not kidding. It is hundreds of pages of so many different types of recipes you could spend your year cooking through it and still not do everything. Ilana Simon is basically the Great Pubah of Fondue.

This book has a pretty lengthy "fondue essentials" at the beginning of the book. This covers everything from fondue history to fondue equipment (divided into different tools needed for fondues like dessert, oil, broth, cheese, etc.). It even has a small section about fondue fables, and a section about the menu and what beverages go with fondues. She also gives a list of do's and don'ts, and how to adapt recipes. Even though I've been making fondue for years, I found these sections really helpful. I'm certainly not all-knowing and I often encounter what I consider to be rookie mistakes and yet I still kept making them because I wasn't sure what to do differently. I was following the simple suggestions in the Melting Pot's book, and it wasn't cutting it. This book has helped me a ton in those areas where I struggled. 

The Fondue Bible is divided into sections: Fondue parties (this has four different menus to use for different occasions such as first-time fondue party, game day, family-friendly brunch, and romantic fondue for two). The next sections are cheese fondues, oil fondues, broth fondues, dessert fondues, and dips and sauces. These sections are HUGE. There are SO MANY recipes in here. Like I said at the beginning, I have the Melting Pot's official cookbook, and it has probably 1/6 of the recipes that this book has. This book has everything from basic combinations to more adventurous combinations. There are fondues from different regions and lots of different kinds of cuisines such as Thai, Korean, Mexican, Italian, and French. It seriously runs the gambit of different flavors and tastes. The recipes are great in that there are tips as well as make ahead suggestions and even suggestions for what to serve it with. It literally gives you everything you need to make a successful fondue experience, regardless of whether or not you're a beginner or a seasoned fondue eater. I guarantee you will find something in here that will interest you. There is, of course, a long table of contents that makes it easy to find what you're looking for. 

The Fondue Bible has some beautiful pictures in it, but instead of being right next to the recipes, they're clumped in sections. The recipes are grouped together and are made out of slightly heavier paper than a normal book, but not the glossy recipe pages that are in many cookbooks. It's not my favorite way to have a recipe book (and I have several cookbooks like this), but the pictures are labeled with page numbers and I understand that with a recipe book this large with so many recipes it would be simply ginormous if it were to have those big heavy pages with a picture from each. It just would be massive and unwieldy. This is a much more manageable size.

I'm reviewing this book purposely in December because I think it would be a fun gift, especially if you were to include it with a fondue pot or cheese and chocolate for a recipe. It would be a fun gift. Also, maybe you'll get a delicious dinner invitation out of it. Alternatively, you can buy it for yourself and enjoy your own fondue. This is the most comprehensive fondue book I've seen, and I totally think it's title of "Fondue Bible" is applicable. If you're looking for a no-nonsense guide to making any fondue you can think of (and many, many more that you haven't) then this is your book to go to.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars 

For the sensitive reader: This book is clean. 

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