This is the one. The classic, the tried and true, the old stand by. While there are many versions of this fondue, this is the one I come back to over and over again. It has the perfect balance of flavors and is the one that gets my blue ribbon.
When I was in college I studied in Switzerland for a semester and quickly swooned over the fondue culture. All it took was one meal in a local cave-like restaurant, lit only by candlelight, cheese swirling over forks and wine glasses clinking. I fell in love with the experience of fondue. It isn’t just a meal, it creates a feeling that makes people linger at the table, talking and laughing.
The actual town of Gruyere was only a few miles away from the place I was studying. It is just as you’d imagine – quaint, surrounded by towering white-capped mountains, and filled with the sounds of cow bells coming from the slopped pastures. It is also famous for its cheese.
Gruyere is tangy and a little bit nutty. It’s like no other cheese. Some people have to develop a taste for it (especially kids). I love it with all my heart.
Cheese fondue is our Christmas Eve tradition, but it can be pulled out for any special occasion, or even for a really fun family night.Print
This is the one. The classic, the tried and true, the old stand by. While there are many versions of this fondue, this is the one I come back to over and over again. It has the perfect balance of flavors and is the one that gets the blue ribbon.
- Yield: 4–6 or 8–12 as an appetizer 1x
1 lb. SwissGruyere cheese, grated
1 lb. Swiss Emmenthaler cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
4 cups dry white wine, such as Neuchatel
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and bruised with the flat of a knife
4 Tbsp. Kirsch
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-4 loaves French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
In a large bowl toss the cheeses and cornstarch until thoroughly mixed. Put the wine and garlic in a 2 quart fondue dish (or any 2 quart flame proof saucepan) and bring to a boil over high heat. Let the wine boil for 1-2 min., then remove the garlic. Lower the heat so the wine barely simmers and begin adding the cheese mixture a handful at a time, stirring constantly with a kitchen fork. Add additional cheese only after the previous handful has melted. When the fondue is creamy and smooth, stir in the Kirsch, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
To serve, place the fondue dish or casserole over a gas table burner (we use Sterno) in the center of the table. Adjust the flame until it is at a low heat. Spear cubes with long handled fondue forks and swirl in the fondue. Eat immediately.
*As you near the bottom of the pot, a small circle of burned cheese will probably have formed in the bottom of the pot. Peel off with a fork and eat. It’s often one of the best parts of the meal!
*The Swiss have many traditions around fondue. If a lady drops her bread in the pot, she has to kiss the man closest to her, and vice versa.