Cheese Fondue is a creamy, velvety smooth emulsion of grated firm cheeses, with white wine and seasonings, melted over heat and served in a chafing dish or fondue pot. Participants gather round the Hot Pot with long fondue forks dipping bread cubes into the communal pan. Historically originating in Switzerland, the name Fondue, comes from the French, “fondre” meaning to melt. The first known recipe with cheese and wine was published under the name “Cheese Fondue” in 1875.
Traditionally mild, hard cheeses are used for fondue such as Gruyère, Emmental, Jarlsberg, Comte. In addition to the bread cubes for dipping, many vegetables can deliciously soak up the melted cheese; such as broccoli, cauliflower, tiny boiled potatoes, cherry tomatoes, radishes, zucchini, brussel sprouts or even cubes of ham or beef. Be creative! You can use a traditional Fondue Pot (as above), a chafing dish or anything else that you can keep warm at the table.
A light red wine such as Beaujolais or white wines including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio pair well with Cheese Fondue. A sparkling wine will make it even more special.
1¼ lbs. grated cheese. Use a mixture such as Gruyere, Emmental, Jarlsberg and Comte
1 tablespoon Wondra
Good grating of nutmeg
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 1/4 cups acidic white wine (e.g. Riesling, Sauvignon blanc)
2 tablespoons Kirschwasser (Dry cherry brandy)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Place cheese in a large bowl. Sprinkle Wondra and nutmeg on top, then toss thoroughly so that the flour evenly coats the cheese.
Rub the inside of a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan with the garlic; discard the garlic.
Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Stir the cheese mixture into the wine a handful at a time, stirring the first batch until it is almost completely melted before adding another. The fondue can bubble gently, but do not boil. Stir in the kirsch and mustard when the mixture is smooth.
Place over a flame and serve. If it is necessary to pour the fondue into another serving pot, rub the garlic on that, not the initial saucepan.