Trader Joe’s La Fondue Review

Trader Joe's La Fondue, Ready To Eat
Trader Joe’s La Fondue, Ready To Eat

You know it’s the holiday season at Trader Joe’s when the Fondue products hit the shelves in the cheese department! One of my favorite foods in the world is cheese and there is nothing better on a nice cozy night in the middle of winter and getting out the fondue pot, a nice loaf of bread, and a packet of fondue with your family. Trader Joe’s has been selling this La Fondue for as long as I have been shopping there, going on 15 years now.

But, what if you don’t want to go through all that fuss and just pop something in the microwave, and voila, instant Fondue? Well, Trader Joe’s has a solution to that problem, Trader Joe’s La Fondue! What we have here is a big paper cup like container that you pop in the microwave for about five minutes and you have real fondue! But do we really? Let’s break it down… But before we do that, let’s cover what Fondue is supposed to be.

Trader Joe's La Fondue Back Label
Trader Joe’s La Fondue Back Label

What is Fondue?

Fondue, a delightful and social dish, has a rich history that dates back to 18th-century Switzerland. Originally a necessity rather than a luxury, fondue was a clever way to use aged cheese and stale bread during the winter months when fresh produce was scarce. The Swiss peasants would melt the hard cheese with wine, garlic, and herbs to create a smooth mixture, into which they dipped pieces of bread. This not only made the bread palatable but also provided a hearty, warming meal. The name “fondue” is derived from the French word “fondre,” which means “to melt,” aptly describing the dish’s essence.

Serving fondue has evolved into a communal and interactive culinary experience, often enjoyed during social gatherings. Traditionally, it’s served in a communal pot known as a “caquelon,” which is kept warm over a small burner. The classic Swiss fondue is a blend of cheeses like Gruyère and Emmental, melted with white wine, a bit of garlic, and often a splash of kirsch, a cherry brandy. The mixture is seasoned with nutmeg and pepper for a rich flavor. Diners use long forks to dip cubes of bread into the cheese. In addition to bread, vegetables, and sometimes meats are also used for dipping. The etiquette of fondue eating includes stirring the cheese in a figure-eight pattern to keep it smooth and to avoid losing one’s bread in the pot, which, according to tradition, might result in a playful penalty. Fondue has since expanded beyond its cheese origins to include variations like chocolate fondue, where fruits and sweets are dipped into melted chocolate, and fondue bourguignonne, where pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil or broth.

Trader Joe's La Fondue before cooking
Trader Joe’s La Fondue before cooking

How to Make Trader Joe’s La Fondue

Trader Joe’s La Fondue is a “Ready to Eat” food that you just heat and serve. You don’t need to do anything else to it except stir it and then start dipping bread into it. 

Unlike the other fondue that Trader Joe’s sells (and I have reviewed here) this doesn’t require a special fondue pot. It is also a product of France, where they also eat fondue. I found in my travels around Europe, that many countries outside of Switzerland like to eat fondue, just like we like to eat it here in the USA. 

Trader Joe’s La Fondue is made up of three cheeses, while real Swiss Fondue is probably only made up of one or two cheese, mostly likely Emmental and Gruyere. In this blend, Trader Joe’s puts in a French cheese called Comte which is from the Alpine regions in France near Switzerland. So, it’s all good. I’m sure someone from Switzerland wouldn’t turn their nose up at a little Comte cheese.

Trader Joe's La Fondue piercing with a fork
Trader Joe’s La Fondue piercing with a fork

To prepare this fondue, the first thing is to cut up a nice baguette (Trader Joe’s doesn’t have any in my stores so I have to go to Whole Foods or somewhere else to get one) and get some long forks or fondue forks. Take off the foil top. Then you are supposed to pierce the cheese in the tub all the way to the bottom with a fork. 

Then pop it in the microwave (without the fork) and heat for a minute, then pull it out and stir it up, and then heat for another four minutes. During these four minutes in the microwave, it will bubble and spit a little. After four minutes, handle this carefully, it’s super hot and that cheese is like molten lava. Let it cool for a minute or two and then start dipping!

Trader Joe's La Fondue serving
Trader Joe’s La Fondue serving

How Does Trader Joe’s La Fondue Taste?

Right away during the heating process, I could smell the delicious melange of cheese emanating from my microwave. It smelled exactly like the regular fondue. I pierced a piece of baguette with a long fork and dipped it into the melted cheese. One thing I noticed was a ring of oil around the cheese. The fat is coming out of the cheese and collecting around the edge. I don’t normally see this in the fondue I make the normal way so I carried on.

I dipped the cheese in and blew on it because that cheese was still molten lava after several minutes. It coated the piece of bread nicely and was just as I expected from real fondue.  

I carefully put it in my mouth and it was still super hot! blew on it a couple more times and then it was fine. The good news is that it tasted exactly like good fondue! But as I ate more pieces I noticed a gummy or chewiness to the cheese that I have not had in regular fondue. It didn’t distract from the flavors but it was there. The only other thing is that you have to eat it pretty quickly because, unlike a fondue pot, there is no heat to keep it melted so it starts to solidify again. You might have to pop it in the microwave to heat it up again.

Final Verdict

I really enjoyed the ease of making Trader Joe’s La Fondue. It tasted just like regular fondue, which really is the same based on the ingredients list. The only downside to this was that it was a bit gummier than the regular fondue you heat in a pot for some reason. But is it easy to make! If making fondue from scratch is 10 out of 10, and the fondue in a pot is 9 out of 10, I will give this Trader Joe’s La Fondue 8 out of 10 for the gumminess and the problem with keeping it warm but the flavors are dead on!






  1. You put this on here, I go to the store and try to find it and they say that they discontinued it or they’re out because it’s a summer item! WTF?

  2. Just bought it Dec 14th 2023. It was the perfect size for our Christmas eve family appie night we warmed our crock pot dip container and put the hot fondue container in there to keep warm. Had to pop it out once and re warm. This product was a winner.

  3. I just checked for it in Portland today and was told it’s seasonal for Christmas and gone already. I’ve never seen it before but figured they’d have it through new years. Oh well.

  4. Is there a marketing glitch?
    For some reason I’m getting timely communications from you (Flyer, reviews on products etc) only to visit store and they are not available & each were seasonal products.

    I am aware yummy items do fly off your shelves & know NOT to procrastinate. This is the 3rd time this year …..?
    So disappointing to read “teasers”

    • The La Fondue came and went very quickly this year. I think it was on the shelves for about 2 weeks. Ask you manager next November to get it in time for the holidays. Otherwise, just get the regular fondue pack and you can microwave it too.

  5. We had Trader Joe’s La Fondue for New Year’s Eve and it was great. Easy and quick to make in the microwave . We dipped French bread and apple slices for a hot snack that goes perfectly with beer or champagne 👍

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