A table full of friends, good wine, bread, and a pot of fondue makes for a perfect dinner party. Keep reading to discover the recipe for this classic dish that can easily be prepared for a planned affair or last minute gathering. Although there are several variations, including meat fondue and chocolate fondue, we are going to focus exclusively on the gooiest – cheese fondue.
Fondue is one the national dishes of Switzerland. It was first mentioned in a cookbook in 1699 under the name “Käss mit Wein zu kochen” (cooking cheese with wine). The modern version came about at the end of the 19th century and was made with gruyere cheese. Although it is associated with provincial and rustic ways, it is actually a dish that originated in the wealthier classes since cheese was considered a luxury ingredient. It was not until 1930 when the Union of Swiss Cheese Makers promoted fondue as the national dish to increase the consumption of their cheeses.
The word fondue comes from the French verb “to melt” describing the mixture of cheeses that are melted together with wine and spices to form a sumptuous dish that will surely take your breath away. The recipe I am about to share with you is the one I learned at the now defunct Chalet Suizo in CDMX.
Take note, in Swiss tradition the one who loses a bread cube in the cheese mixture has to buy a round of drinks.
- 1 garlic clove
- 500 grams of gruyere cheese (grated)
- 350 grams of Emmental cheese (grated)
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (helps with stability)
- 1 baguette cut into cubes
- 1 pinch of white pepper
- ½ shot glass of kirsch (cherry liqueur) if available
- Halve the garlic clove and rub the pot (preferably the traditional caquelon) vigorously with the inside of each clove.
- Over medium heat (so the cheese doesn’t burn), add the white wine together with the cornstarch and let it reduce slightly.
- Add the grated cheese, kirsch, and pepper. Stir the cheese in a figure of eight until it forms a soft and elastic texture.
- Serve in the center of the table on a burner that allows you to control the heat.
- Dip the bread cubes and enjoy!