Who invented the cheese fondue? That’s the big question. The Swiss, the French or the Italians? The fact is that the fondue was established as the Swiss national dish in the 1950s. The recipe was included in the Swiss Army cookbook at that time.
The basic recipe for cheese fondue needs very few ingredients. Grated Swiss cheese, some sparkling wine, pepper and cornstarch to thicken the fondue.
All about cheese fondue
In addition to the cheese, only bread is a must. In my opinion, a Braided Swiss Bread fits better than, e.g. white bread. Fondue is very often eaten the classic way. That means without side dishes or starters.
If you want to serve an appetiser, serve some dried meat, e.g. Bündnerfleisch or dried meat. Smoked bacon or Karréspeck tastes also great as a starter.
Cheese fondue is traditionally prepared in Caquelons. Most Caquelons are made of cast iron, enamelled steel or ceramic. They are beautiful and not cheap. The good news: You can also prepare the fondue in a normal small pot. A Caquelons is nothing else then a pot. Tea lights are completely sufficient as the small flame under the Caquelon.
Recipe: Cheese fondue
Amount: 4 servings
300 g Gruyère cheese, finely grated
300 g (Swiss) Emmentaler cheese, finely grated
300 ml sparkling wine, e.g. muscatel
1 tbsp corn starch
White pepper, freshly ground
1 pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
- At first grate both types of cheese. Then place the cheese in a small saucepan and gradually melt it over low heat. Don’t forget to stir. Constant stirring is mandatory when melting!
- Then add wine sparkling wine to the molten cheese and stir it in. After that dissolve the cornstarch in some sparkling wine and stir it into the cheese. Keep the fondue warm over a low flame and stir occasionally.
- Finally serve the fondue pot on a rechaud with a low flame. A tea warmer with tea lights also does the trick.
- Break small pieces of bread, put it on a (fondue) forks, dip it in the fondue and enjoy the molten, cheesy goodiness.
What to do … if the cheese fondue is too thin?
Just add a handful of grated cheese. If that is not enough, add some cornstarch dissolved in sparkling wine. Stir vigorously and bring the cheese to the boil again.
What to do … if the cheese fondue is too thick?
Pour some sparkling wine into the fondue while stirring vigorously. Afterwards bring the fondue to the boil again. Don’t forget to stir.
What to do … when the fondue separates?
Add some corn starch dissolved in sparkling wine. Then stir vigorously and boil the cheese again briefly.
Most important to remember is to fill the Caquelon / the pot with cold water and leave it to soak overnight. Cheese residues can easily be scrubbed away afterwards.
Ripe cheese melts better.