If we had to sum up tradition in Switzerland in five words, we would say: cheese on cheese on cheese. Cheese is the lifeblood of this country, featuring prominently in just about every meal one has. The cheese section at even the pokiest of supermarkets is roughly the size of your average two-bedroom home.
That might sound like a lot, but after you eat your first fondue and you’re lying in a semi-conscious state afterwards, you realise that eating multiple kilograms of cheese in one sitting is not actually such a pipe dream.
We don’t know whether it’s because the wine in the recipe impedes your stomach’s ability to tell you when it’s about to overflow, or whether the promise of picking burnt cheese off the bottom of the pot (oh yes, it’s the best bit) motivates you to push on, but no matter how big your pot of fondue, no matter how many times you say, as the waiter places it in front of you, “Oh my gosh, look at the size of that. I’ll never finish it.”, you will always finish it. And almost always hate yourself afterwards :-)
When you order fondue, the staff tend to bring out a basket of bread long before your cheese arrives (Swiss and French restaurants will provide never-ending baskets of bread the way American restaurants provide tap water). We know it’s hard not to nibble while you’re waiting for your meal but STAY AWAY FROM THE BREAD. Remember, you’re just about to eat a meal that is about 70% bread. You do not need more bread. It will only impede your ability to eat your weight in cheese
Watch what you drink
And by this, we mean DO NOT DRINK WATER. Complement your fondue with white wine during the meal and tea afterwards, and whatever you do stay away from the cold water. Drinking cold water causes the cheese to re-solidify in your stomach, and you can imagine how well that goes down with your loved ones and colleagues for the days following your fondue adventure.
Shout out to the wait staff here who refuse to serve you water while you are eating fondue – at the time you would hate on them but when you heard about the whole re-solidification thing and advises, you will be retroactively grateful.
6 ounces Jack cheese, cubed
6 ounces Gouda cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1 cup white wine
1 teaspoon shallots, grated
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch Salt and white pepper, to taste
1 loaf Crusty bread, for serving
Combine all ingredients, except bread, in fondue pot and warm to serve. Dip pieces of bread into warm cheese. Enjoy!
This Beer Cheese Fondue
This Beer Cheese Fondue is another example of why people love pairing beer and cheese together for a comforting and filling dish. With just seven ingredients, it comes together in just minutes and all of them bound to have everything on hand.
Your favorite beer, cheddar cheese and onion come together in this perfect, melty dipping sauce. Apples, crusty bread and soft pretzels are our top picks for dippers. We’ve also been known to grab for slices of kielbasa sausage and pepperoni as well as dried apricots, baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. The possibilities are endless!
In a small saucepan add garlic, onion and butter. Saute onion and garlic in butter until tender. Add beer to saucepan. Bring beer mixture to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low. (!) Tossing the cheese and flour together helps to prevent the cheese from clumping when you stir the cheese into the hot fondue mixture. Stir cheese into saucepan until melted. Transfer fondue to fondue pot and keep warm.
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup beer
4 cups cheddar cheese shredded
1 tablespoon flour
Apple Cider Cheese Fondue
Made with organic apple cider instead of the traditional white wine
1 ½ cups North Coast Apple Cider or Juice
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound (about 4 cups) Gouda Cheese
1/2 cup Gruyère Cheese
1/2 cup smoked cheese or pepper jack cheese
1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
In a medium size saucepan, bring the apple cider and apple cider vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and reduce the heat to a slow simmer allowing the ciders to reduce (about 10 minutes). While the ciders are reducing, mix the cheeses in a large bowl and toss with the corn starch until evenly coated. Turn up the heat to medium-low and add the cheese by handfuls, stirring with a whisk in between each addition until the cheese is melted. You may have to add more cider or cider vinegar depending on the thickness of the fondue. Transfer to a fondue pot and light the candle underneath to keep warm and bubbly.
greek cheese fondue-dip
This Greek cheese fondue-dip is super easy to make and can be a fun appetizer for the holiday season.
1/3 cup greek yogurt.
1/3 cup cream cheese
2 cups greek gruyere cheese grated You can use other types of gruyere as well.
1 cup greek kaseri cheese grated You can use gouda or cheddar if kaseri is not available.
pinch kosher salt
1 tsp nutmeg grated
1 tbsp dry oregano
red chili pepper flakes
fresh ground pepper
For the roasted tomatoes
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 sprigs fresh sage
fresh ground pepper
Roast the tomatoes
In a small baking pan add the cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive, the fresh herbs sprigs , salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Mix gently and bake in a 350 F for about 25 min.
In a medium bowl add the grated cheese, the cream cheese and the yogurt. Add pinch of salt, red chili pepper flakes and fresh ground pepper (to taste). Mix well. Put mixture in an oven safe small baking dish. Add the roasted tomatoes on top. Mix very gently, just enough for the tomatoes to sink in the cheese mixture a little. Bake in 350 F for 10 minute or until all cheese is melted. Serve with pita bread, roasted shishito peppers, mini lemon roasted potatoes or anything you like to dip in delicious melted cheese. Enjoy!
Mexican cheese fondue
6 potatoes, scrubbed (unpeeled)
90ml olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 chorizo, casing removed, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups (300g) grated cheddar
1 1/4 cups (125g) grated mozzarella
3 teaspoons cornflour
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups (310ml) lager
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 190°C. To make potato skins, prick potatoes and brush with oil. Place on a baking tray and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthways, then, using a spoon, scoop out the centre to create a hollow shell shape (the potato can be reserved to make mash). Combine paprika and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then brush over the potato skins and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until crisp.
Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add chorizo and fry, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until crisp. Drain chorizo on paper towel, reserving oil.
To make the queso fundido, place the cheddar, mozzarella and cornflour in a bowl and toss to coat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the beer and bring to a simmer, then cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced. Reduce heat to low, then gradually add cheese mixture, stirring constantly until melted.
Sprinkle the queso fundido with chorizo and coriander. Drizzle over the reserved chorizo oil, then serve with the potato skins.
French Onion Cheese Fondue
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 large white onions, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme
4 ounces Wisconsin Fontina cheese, shredded
4 ounces Wisconsin Butterkase cheese, shredded
4 ounces Wisconsin Shredded Grand Cru Orignal cheese or Alpine-style cheese
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic paste
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pretzel bites, for serving
Heat butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and thyme sprigs; cook 30 to 45 minutes or until dark golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Place cheeses and cornstarch in large zip-top bag and shake to combine. In medium saucepan, heat garlic and wine to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheese mixture, a small handful at a time, stirring constantly, until all cheese is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Stir in caramelized onions. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately with pretzel bites.
Onions can be caramelized up to 3 days in advance. After cooking, let stand at room temperature until completely cool.
Apple & walnut fondue
1 garlic clove, halved
250 g mild Gruyère, grated
300 g goats' cheese, grated
4 tsp cornflour
250 g mild Emmental, grated
a little pepper
2 dl white wine
2 dl apple juice
1 tbsp gin
2 apples, cut into approx. 1.5 cm cubes
0.5 tbsp butter
a little salt
50 g walnut kernels, coarsely chopped
Rub the garlic around the fondue pot. Add the cheese to the pot. Mix the cornflour with the wine and apple juice, pour into the pot. Bring to the boil over a low heat, stirring constantly. Add the gin, season.
Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the apples and sauté for approx. 5 mins., season with salt. Add the nuts and cook for a further 5 mins. Top the fondue with the apples and nuts, serve immediately.
Serve with Bread
Winter Cheese Board with German Beer Cheese Fondue
4 ounces Colby Jack cheese, grated
4 ounces Muenster cheese, grated
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup German beer, such as Weihenstephaner
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place cheeses and cornstarch in large zip-top bag and shake to combine. In small saucepan, heat garlic and beer to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheese mixture, a small handful at a time, stirring constantly, until all cheese is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
SURF AND TURF CHEESE FONDUE
1½ C shredded aged (robusto) gouda cheese*
1½ C shredded gruyere cheese
1 C shredded fontina cheese
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 clove garlic
1¼ C dry white wine
1 tsp fresh minced thyme
black pepper to taste
2½ C (about ½ lb trimmed) asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
¾ lb new potatoes or baby red potatoes
½ lb filet mignon
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
½ lb frozen white shrimp (cooked, peeled with tail on and deveined)
Lobster Lager Cheese Fondue
1 1/4 pound lobster, boiled or steamed with meat removed
1 tablesoon salted butter
1 shallot finely diced
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, halved, for seasoning the pot
1/2 cup swiss cheese, grated
2 tablespoons lager
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cup pickles, sliced
1/4 sourdough loaf, cubed
Cut the lobster meat into large chunks and place it in a bowl. In a medium sized nonstick saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft. Add the white wine and allow it to reduce by half. Light the fondue pot burner to begin to heat the pot. As the fondue pot heats, rub the garlic clove halves around the inside to season it. In a small saucepan, cook the swiss cheese, cornstarch and lager over medium-low heat. Heat until fully melted and mixed. Add the wine mixture and stir until heated through. Do not boil. Pour the cheese mixture into the hot fondue pot. Add the nutmeg and gently stir. Using the fondue forks, spear lobster chunks, sliced pickles and cubes of sourdough and dunk into the fondue pot.
Baked Pumpkin Fondue
1 medium pumpkin or kabocha squash
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded fondue cheese
1 package Harvest Stone Sprouted Hummus Crackers, Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh chopped parsley
Heat oven to 400°F.
Slice the top 1" from the pumpkin, remove top. With a spoon, scoop out seeds. Discard seeds, place squash onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper generously.
Bake squash for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
Fill squash with garlic and cream. Whisk to mix garlic into cream. Add fondue cheese, stirring until well mixed. Return to oven, bake until cheese melts, stirring every 5 minutes or so, about 20 minutes total.
Serve in the center of a large platter with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and parsley for garnish.
200 ml Cream
300 g Dark chocolate, chopped in pieces
1 Tbsp Liquor, or to taste
2 cups Marshmallows, or chopped fruit
In a pot, heat the cream to just simmering. Add the chocolate and whisk continually until smooth. Add the liquor and stir. Pour the chocolate into your fondue and set over a low heat.Using long forks, dip the fruit and enjoy.
The first recipe for cheese fondue dates to 1699, when it was referred to as ‘Käss mit Wein zu kochen’, which translated to ‘to cook cheese with wine’.
The practice began with Alpine farmers in Switzerland who would cook up wine, garlic and herbs with cheese as a way to use up their leftovers during when fresh food was unavailable during winter.
Farming families would gather up hardened cheese, plop it in a pot, called a caquelon, that had been rubbed down with garlic and then splash in some wine and melt it over a fire.
It was around 1875 that the modern recipe that we are familiar with was first written down in the French Rhône-Alpes.
‘La fondue crée la bonne humeur’, or ‘fondue creates a good mood’
It’s also important to remember when you are digging into your meal that there is an unwritten rule of cheese fondue; whoever drops their bread in the pot, foots the bill :-)
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