This simple and easy Swiss cheese fondue with white wine and Kirsch (cherry brandy) comes together quickly. Fondue originated in Switzerland among peasants as a way to use up hardened cheese. The word fondue comes from the French verb fondre, which means "to melt."
Traditionally, fondue is made with a mixture of Emmental and/or Gruyère, two varieties of Swiss cheese, that are melted in a communal pot with white wine. Then Kirsch or other alcohol is added at the end so it doesn't cook out too fast.
The result is an ooey-gooey dip for pieces of stale bread and crusts. Raw vegetables also can be dipped in the cheese, although it's not traditional. In the 1950s, a New York chef developed a fondue method of cooking meat cubes in hot oil, which is quite popular.
But, probably, chocolate fondue is what has taken the world by storm. This dessert features a pot of melted good-quality chocolate surrounded by pound cake, marshmallows, fresh fruit and other dippable items.
Makes 4 servings Swiss Cheese Fondue.
- 1 pound grated good-quality Emental or Gruyère Swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons Kirsch, rum or brandy (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Bread cubes, cooked meat cubes, vegetables for dippers
- Gently toss 1 pound grated Swiss cheese and 2 tablespoons flour until cheese is coated. Set aside.
- Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the inside of the fondue pot, pressing firmly to release juices. Add 2 cups dry white wine and bring to a simmer. Do not boil.
- Add the Swiss cheese to the wine in the fondue pot a handful at a time while stirring with a wooden spoon. When the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth, add the 2 tablespoons Kirsch, or rum or brandy along with the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg. Stirring constantly, heat until it just begins to boil.
- Follow your fondue pot manufacturer's instructions on how to keep the melted cheese hot. Serve Swiss cheese fondue with bread cubes, cooked meat cubes, and raw vegetables.