Cheese fondue is one of the flagship dishes of Swiss cuisine, specifically from the Romandie region, also known as French Switzerland. It seems that the cheese fondue It is born from the custom adopted by the shepherds of the Swiss mountainous areas, who heated pieces of old cheese with the intention of toning their bodies in the face of inclement weather, taking a hot meal to their stomach.
Although an exact date is not known regarding its origin, the first publication in which its recipe is collected dates from 1825 and is the work of the French chef Brillat-Savarin. Since then and to date, having crossed the border with France, the cheese fondue has become popular worldwide. Each country has adopted and adapted it to their customs, appearing a multitude of recipes and variants.
While it is true that the cheese fondue it is a versatile and easily adapted recipe, in which we can use products from our regions, it is worth mentioning that the traditional recipe is based on the use of two main cheeses: Gruyere cheese and Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese.
The Gruyere cheese It is made with cow’s milk. It is produced in the Alps between mid-May and mid-October, when herds of cows can graze on their meadows in suitable weather conditions. The Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese, which is also made with cow’s milk and in the same geographical area, is a creamy and melting cheese that, combined with Gruyere, makes the perfect match for a fondue.
Unless you are irredentist purists, these cheeses can be replaced by others Swiss cheeses with similar characteristics such as emmental, raclette and sbrinz or even cheeses from other countries such as French comté, Italian fontina and British cheddar.
In the fondue preparation, to the mixture of these delicious cheeses (400 g of each) are added other ingredients: dry white wine (300 ml), 1 clove of garlic, cornstarch (20 g), Kirsch (100 ml), ground black pepper and juice lemon (1 teaspoon). It is convenient to have a special pan for fondue for the convenience of being able to transfer it from the fire to the table, where it is placed on a support with a burner that keeps it hot and melted.
Once ready and equipped, we start by cutting our cheese into cubes or grating them. We take the casserole, cut the garlic in two and rub inside. We put the Gruyere cheese, the wine and the lemon juice in the casserole and heat a low heat, stirring constantly. When it starts to melt, add the Vacherin cheese and the cornstarch diluted in the Kirsch. Season with pepper and stir until obtaining a homogeneous and smooth cream.
SOS … it has not been as it should!
It could be that, despite following the steps indicated to the letter, the result is not as expected. If the fondue has been cut, the we put the fire back and we add a little white wine, cornstarch and lemon juice, these ingredients will be in charge of providing consistency. If it has been too runny, we can thicken it by adding more cheese or cornstarch dissolved in wine or Kirsch, and if it has become thick, we just have to add a little more wine.
With what to accompany the cheese fondue
Our cheese fondue is ready and now we just need the accompaniment. Tradition says that, to serve it properly, it is necessary to have pieces of different breads on the table: cereals, candeal, integral. etc. Thus, once the casserole is arranged on its support, we can let ourselves be carried away by the pleasure of tasting a traditional cheese fondue.
There are alternatives of accompaniments for those who consider that bread and cheese can be heavy, tired, little varied or similar. The chopped vegetables, lightly steamed, they are an excellent option. To them we can also add pieces of smoked sausage, cherry tomatoes, countryside, etc. There are no limits, so imagination to power!
With these tips already there is no excuse not to dare to prepare a cheese fondue, either in the traditional way or adapted to your tastes. A perfect excuse to gather a good group of friends and family and enjoy their company sharing a good meal.
How to choose a fondue?
The fondue are made in the utensil of the same name, typical wedding list gift or Christmas that has unfairly fallen into disuse. It is true that a fomdue is not a utensil for daily use, but it is essential to prepare this dish that can become the king of all parties.
There are two main types of fondue: traditional, with a burner that is usually used with alcohol, and the electrical, and a huge price range between them.
In Amazon we find a basic fondue, of stainless steel, from only 21 euros.
Cheese fondue-Set 6 meat fondue fork / chocolate cheese fondue
Electric versions allow better regulate the temperatureAlthough they do not have the charm of fire (and require a plug). The one made by Taurus is a great option.
Taurus FF2 Fondue for 8 People, 100 W, 2 L Capacity, PFOA Free Pot, Black Stainless Steel Color, Silver
Finally, we have the high-end fondue, ideal for those who make the dish more than once a year. Like all cast iron utensils, if properly cared for, they will last a lifetime.
LE CREUSET Fondue, Cast Iron, Cherry, 1.6 L
Images | iStock
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Information sources | Just hungy, Swiss Cheeses, Cheese Fondue and Cheese Fondue