Swiss Fondue

When I visit Switzerland I make it a point to stop in the village of Gruyère for fondue. After a long day of skiing, there is nothing more indulgent than huddling around this simple Swiss treat in a pot that requires only a few quality ingredients to warm up the day. In Switzerland, there are no fancy fondues with mixings of salsa and cheddar cheese; instead, they use only the best bread and Gruyère cheese available to make this simple meal. The Swiss do however have terms and conditions for eating this amazing dish; don’t drop your bread into the fondue or you will end up in the nearby lake and don’t drink water or anything carbonated while eating fondue. One should drink a white wine such as Fendant or hot tea, otherwise you’ll end up with cheese balls that will wreak havoc in your stomach.

INGREDIENTS

  • Fondue pot and forks (I own a Calphalon Stainless Steel Fondue set and have used it for years. It’s a great product; well worth the investment.)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3-4 cups Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup dry white wine/Fendant (see Tip)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch (clear-colored, cherry-flavored brandy/liquor)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • French bread
  • Cornishon or any small-sized pickles
  • Pickled onions

DIRECTIONS

  1. Warm the fondue pot on a low flame. (Follow cooking directions for your fondue maker.)
  2. Toss cheese and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Rub garlic on all sides inside the pot for flavor then discard garlic.
  4. Add the dry white wine (Fendant) and a squeeze of lemon. Heat till warm.
  5. Add cheese and cornstarch, then stir.
  6. Add Kirsch and continue to stir. At this point, the fondue should have a glossy shine. Continue to stir in pot over flame.
  7. Grind fresh pepper on the cheese as it comes out of pot.
  8. Serve with crusty bread, cut into 2 inch cubes.
  9. Dip bread into fondue and serve with Cornishon pickles and pearl onions on the side.

TIP
A Swiss Fendant is a white dry wine that goes well with fondue. Fondue cheeses are most commonly melted in a dry white wine to help keep the cheese from the direct heat as it melts. It also adds flavor. Use the wine and avoid cheese balls at your party!

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