There is nothing better than a chilly winter’s day paired with gathering around a decadent pot of delicious cheese fondue. Warm, melted cheese, crusty bread, and even better company...what’s not to love?? The best part of fondue is that it’s simple to prepare with minimal clean up and invites guests to linger around the table even longer.
While scheming on the menu for Marcie’s upcoming Valentine’s Day celebration, she landed on serving cheese fondue as the featured course. Since her husband is from Switzerland, she knew he could contribute his expertise on this traditional dish.
A Few Fondue Facts
Fondue is believed to have started as a peasant dish in the Swiss canton in the French part of Switzerland. This part of Switzerland is known for its wine, cheese and beautiful mountains.
Fondue was created to use up aged cheeses and breads during the winter months when fresh food wasn’t so readily available. This dish would help take the edge off the winter’s chill. Fondue really remained a local tradition until the 1930s when the Swiss Cheese Union Schweizerische Käseunion ran a campaign to name Fondue as the national dish of Switzerland.
A Few Etiquette Tips for Serving Fondue:
Never double dip – it may seem obvious, but when you’re caught up in conversation, sometimes it can be tempting!
Swirl the speared bread in a figure 8 form in the melted cheese. This keeps the cheese from sticking and burning on the sides and bottom.
Don’t touch the dipping fork with your mouth!
When preparing your cheese fondue, the best trick to getting the perfect consistency is the wooden spoon trick. As you are combining the ingredients on the stovetop, use a wooden spoon with a hold in the middle to stir the melted cheese. Gently lift the spoon, if you can’t see the hole in the spoon - it’s too thick, if it runs off the spoon entirely - it’s too thin. The spoon should have a thin layer of cheese covering the hole for the PERFECT fondue consistency.
Cheese Fondue Recipe
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons Kirsch
3 cups of a mix of shredded gruyere and Emmenthaler cheese
1 ½ cups of dry white wine
Pinch of nutmeg
Rub the garlic cloves along the bottom of the saucepan before placing on the stovetop over low heat. Leave the garlic cloves in the pot for added flavor. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and kirsch before adding to the pot. Add the shredded cheese to the saucepan over medium-low heat and slowly stir to combine with the garlic and kirsch mixture. Before melting the cheese completely, add the dry white wine and stir to combine. Once the cheese begins to melt, add the black pepper and pinch of nutmeg before serving. Make sure to test the consistency with the wooden spoon trick mentioned above.
Serve the cheese fondue with crusty bread cut into cubes, raw vegetables, apples, pickles, or any of your favorite accompaniments. Enjoy!