When most people think of fondue, it's the traditional Swiss cheese fondue that comes to mind. That’s no surprise. Cheese fondue is easy, fun to make and absolutely delicious.
The traditional recipe below is a good one to get you started, but there are thousands of other scrumptious cheese fondue recipes to try.
Traditional Cheese Fondue Recipe
½ lb grated Gruyere cheese (rind removed)
1/2 lb grated Emmentaler cheese (rind removed)
1 clove garlic
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon kirsch (optional)
pepper and nutmeg to taste
1. Rub the inside of a medium saucepan with the peeled garlic clove. Throw away the garlic. Add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the Gruyere and Emmentaler cheese with the cornstarch and toss. Stir the cheese mixture into the wine one small handful at a time. Make sure each handful is completely melted before adding another. The fondue can bubble a bit, but don't let it boil. Season with the nutmeg and pepper. Stir in kirsch (optional).
3. Transfer to a cheese fondue pot and keep warm with burner. Serve right away.
What to Dip
- Crusty cubes of French or Italian bread (leave a piece of crust on each cube)
- Rye or sourdough bread cubes
- Cooked chicken (bite sized cubes with skin and bone removed)
- Cooked ham (bite sized cubes)
- Sausage (garlic sausage is a great choice)
- Potatoes (roasted or boiled, baby potatoes work best)
- Asparagus spears
- Broccoli florets (boil for two minutes)
- Cauliflower florets (boil for two minutes)
- Granny smith apple slices
Cooking & Serving Tips
Don’t use a cheap cooking wine for fondue (or for anything else for that matter). Instead use a decent Sauvignon Blanc, California Riesling, Chenin Blanc, or Swiss Fendant.
As you add the handful of cheeses to the simmering wine, stir in a zig-zag or figure-eight motion to help break up the cheese and blend ingredients.
The hard crust left at the bottom of the pot is called “la courte” or “la religuese”, and is considered a delicacy. Pry it out and serve pieces of it to your guests.
Avoid mixing water into fondue. If the fondue is too thick, add more dry white wine. If it is too thin, more cornstarch and cheese. Keep the heat as low as possible so the cheese doesn’t become rubbery.
Fondue recipes don’t double very well. If you need more fondue, it is best to make it in another pot.
Wondering what to drink with your fondue creation? Try more of the wine you used in the recipe. If you want more of a full-bodied wine, Bordeaux, California Merlot, Chianti, and Cabernet Sauvignon work nicely. Hot black tea, hard cider, and beer also deserve mention.
More than 6 people at one fondue pot is usually a disaster. Ideally, there should be 4 people at one fondue pot.