Peanut Butter Fondue

That's Nuts

A weekly dose of nutty history, pop culture, and recipes from Lee Zalben, aka The Peanut Butter Guy.


New Year's Eve is just a few days away. If you're hosting a party or have to bring "something yummy" to one, how about fondue? And not just any fondue, but a legumbrious twist on the Swiss classic: peanut butter fondue!

You've had the cheese version before, but how much do you know about its origins? Legend has it that Swiss villagers in the 18th century invented the dish as a way to make the bread and cheese more palatable during the long, cold winters. When the temperature dropped, their loaves of bread and cheese would freeze or go stale, making them difficult and unpleasant to eat. By melting the cheese and dipping the bread into it (fondue comes from the French term for "melted"), they created a warm, hearty meal that was both satisfying and delicious.

Konrad Egli of the Chalet Swiss Restaurant in New York helped popularize cheese fondue in America in the 1950s. Egli was also responsible for introducing chocolate fondue as a dessert, and in the 1960s and '70s fondue parties were all the rage; fondue sets became a best-selling gift for new neighbors and the just-married.

So why peanut butter fondue? Chances are you have a jar of peanut butter in your cupboard and some items to skewer and dip. Everything tastes better with peanut butter on it, right? So why not make like the Swiss (and Nike?) and ust fondue-it?

Have you ever made a sweet or savory fondue at home or served fondue at a party before?