Your Cheese Fondue Isn't Complete Without Cornichons For A Vinegary Bite

There are few better ways to complete a show-stopping foodie party than by bringing out a pot of classic cheese fondue. Not only is it a fun and fancy dining activity, but it is also delicious, full of creamy and savory flavors that melt over your tongue and linger on your palate. Without the right dipping accoutrements, however, that richness is liable to overwhelm you and your guests, causing fondue fatigue well before the party is over. To prevent this, be sure to pair your fondue with bright and vinegary snacks like cornichons.

Creating a perfect bite of food requires addressing many factors, of which contrast is above all the most important. In the case of fondue, the key traits that must be addressed are the rich flavors and runny texture of the cheeses. Cornichons are small, pickled cucumbers about the same size as a baby carrot. They help to balance the characteristics of melted cheese on several fronts: One, by bringing an intense acidity from the vinegar-based pickling liquid, which readily cuts through the heaviness and fat of the cheese, and two, by packing a big crunch in a little package, offering textural contrast against the melty, stretchy fondue.

How to serve cornichons with fondue

Cornichons are readily found at most grocery stores nationwide, usually alongside other pickles and condiments. They are most commonly available in a classic flavor, which is traditionally seasoned with mustard and tarragon, but can also be found in a sweet and spicy version. 

When serving them with your fondue, these little pickles are agreeably accompanied by other chopped fresh and crunchy raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and radishes that provide a similar crunch, as well as other pickled produce like peppers and pearl onions. For additional textural interest, try serving your fondue alongside an array of crispy crackers or with small hunks of fresh, crusty bread, which will help soak up both the oil of the cheese and the vinegar of the cornichons. Finally, include a few fruits like grapes and apples for some sweetness and further acidity. Having a selection of these dippers together will result in a balanced and well-rounded fondue experience, but the vinegary bite of cornichons may well prove the most memorable.