Last Christmas my sister from Zurich gave me a cheese and chocolate fondue set, since then I haven’t used it but today it will change as we will be making some cheese fondue. Fondue is a Swiss dish made out of cheese melted with wine, kirsch (type of cherry liqueur) and seasoning in a communal pot called caquelon; bread is then picked by long-stemmed forks and dipped into the melted concoction. Initially it there was only one fondue variant which is the cheese but later on several variations have emerged like the chocolate and fondue bourguignonne (raw meat dipped in hot oil)
The word fondue came from the French word fondre which means “to melt”. Earliest recipes were also found on the book called “Käss mit Wein zu kochen” (To cook cheese with wine) which was published during 1699 in Zurich. The recipe states that cheese are to be grated and melted with wine, and for bread to be dipped in it. In 1930 the fondue started to get popular when the Swiss Cheese Union (Schweizerische Käseunion) promoted fondue to become the Swiss national dish, in doing so it will help their economy as cheese consumption will definitely increase. It then became popular in the United States in the late 1960’s when it was introduced by Swiss restaurateur named Konrad Egli. He started with fondue bourguignonne at his Chalet Suisse restaurant in 1956 then the chocolate fondue in the mid 1960’s as part of a promotion for Toblerone chocolate.
There are different types of cheese fondues from the normal ones Neuchâteloise (mix of Gruyère and Emmental) to flavoured ones where either cream, Tomato, peppers, eggs and/or Mushrooms are added.
Like some dishes this have its traditions and it says that if a man drops his bread on the post then he will have to buy the drinks for everyone, and if it’s a woman then she must kiss her neighbours.
200g Emmental, grated
200g Gruyere, grated
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp kirsch
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 clove garlic, lightly pounded
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dry mustard
What to dip (Choose from any below)
Day old baguette, lightly toasted and cubed
Vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower)
- In a covered container mix together Emmental, Gruyere and cornstarch. Cover container and shake to coat cheese inside.
- Rub the pounded garlic inside a pot then pour wine and lemon juice. Place in a stove top and simmer on low heat, once it gets hot slowly add in the cheese while stirring constantly, do not add all of the cheese in one go otherwise it will not result to a smooth texture. Do not let the mixture boil.
- Once all of the cheese is melted add in the kirsch, mustard and nutmeg.
- Turn heat odd then transfer into the fondue serving pot, set flame to low just to keep it warm.
- Serve with bread cubes.