Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue

This recipe comes straight from the heart. When winter rolls along and the cold, dark days seem endless, there is no better cheering up than a joly good fondue.

FIGUGAGL (Fondue isch guet und git a gueti Luune)

General note:
You need a special pot called a “caquelon” to prepare a fondue. Once the fondue is ready, the caquelon is set up on the table on a small burner. Keep the fondue on a constant head, but make sure it does not overheat. We use special forks with long handles to dip the bread in the molten cheese, but I’m sure it also works with regular forks.

A cheese fondue mixture should be held at a temperature warm enough to keep the fondue smooth and liquid but not so hot as to allow any burning. If this temperature is held until the fondue is finished there will be a thin crust of toasted (not burnt) cheese at the bottom of the caquelon. This is called la religieuse (French for the nun). It has the texture of a thin cracker and is almost always lifted out and eaten. It is the part everybody haggles about at the end.

Ingredients

  • 400g Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese, grated
  • 400g ounces mature Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons kirsch (cherry liqueur)
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large baguette or other crusty white loaf, cut into cubes

Directions

  1. To prepare the caquelon (the large fondue pot) it is first rubbed with a cut garlic clove.
  2. Then combine both cheeses in the caquelon and heat according to manufacturer’s directions.
  3. In small glass, whisk together the wine and cornstarch. Once the cheese has melted, stir the wine mixture into the cheese. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the kirsch, nutmeg and pepper.
  4. Set the pot’s heat source to low to maintain a gentle simmer. Serve with bread cubes.

Swiss cheeses can be substituted for fontina or another good melting cheese.
Serves: 4

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