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Today we celebrate Cheese Fondue Day !
What is fondue ?
Fondue is a delicious mixture of melted cheese and white wine. It’s described for the first time in a Zurich manuscript of 1699. It’s a typically Swiss specialty, but this course is also known since the 1950s in Savoie, in Franche-Comté (France), in Aosta Valley and in Piedmont (Italy), regions close to Switzerland. There are several varieties of fondue, made with different cheeses.
Our favorite fondue recipe is the half-and-half fondue :
For four persons :
- 1-3 garlic cloves
- 400 g of mature grated Gruyère (14.1 oz) and 400 g of Vacherin Fribourgeois sliced thinly (14.1 oz) OR 800 g of mixture for fondue (28.2 oz) : we are lucky enough to have an excellent cheese maker in the region which prepares us directly the mixture of cheeses
- 3-3 1/2 dl of dry white wine (1.25-1.5 US cup)
- 3 small coffee spoons of cornstarch
- 1 small glass of kirsch
- 800 g of bread cut in small cubes (28.2 oz)
The fondue gets ready in a heavy saucepan, the caquelon. Rub the caquelon with a clove of garlic, or for a more pronounced taste, cut cloves of garlic in two parts, remove the germ and put them in the caquelon.
Begin to melt the cheese by mixing with 2 spoons of cornstarch (do not add cornstarch to this stage if you use a ready-made mixture because it’s already inside).
Add the white wine and bring to a boil.
Dilute 1 spoon of cornstarch with the kirsch and pour the kirsch in the caquelon. Stir constantly.
Switch off the cooker, pepper the fondue, and put the caquelon on a stove (burner or electric stove).
Everyone dips then a piece of bread (or potato according to the recipes) by means of a long fork with three tines. The fork is taken out again with a rotative movement that allows the cheese not to fall again and to wrap the bread well. The caquelon is put on the stove to maintain the fondue at the right temperature.
The fondue tastes accompanied with dry white wine or with hot tea. Avoid other beverages if you don’t want to have an upset tummy !
At the end of the fondue, a crust of cheese has formed at the bottom of the caquelon. According to Claire, it’s the best ! Scratch delicately the bottom of the caquelon to remove it and taste it.
Did you already have the opportunity of eating real fondue ? If yes, do you like it ?
That is new ta us. Isn’t melted cheese kinna HOT?
It’s warm, not hot (or you cannot eat it, right ?). Purrs
We love fondue but haven’t had the “real” thing………my husband will make it with gruyere and fontina and white wine……OR we get a very good mix which just gets heated in my husband’s old fondue pot (!) with some white wine added. Crusty French bread in cubes and we enjoy it in front of the fireplace on a cold evening. BUT your recipe sounds MUCH MUCH better!
My human LOVES fondue but has only had it a couple of times.
It has been a long time since mum has had fondue, but she really likes it too:)
We kitties like to have a little bit of cheese 😉
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure and JJ
My Master replies :
“First about “gruyère”, it is true that THE gruyère, it is Swiss gruyère. But in French of France, or more exactly in French of the Rhône-Alpes region , “gruyère” has become a generic name which includes: genuine Swiss gruyère, beaufort, comté from Jua, gruyère from Savoy, Emmenthal cheese etc. When it is grated, for many French people outside the region it is called “râpé” (grated) and we find in supermarkets “est-central gruyère” (east-central France) which can possibly be used to replace brake blocks of bikes when they are worn … I think that the Swiss would be wrong to take offence when we use the generic name “gruyère”. They should rather consider that as a tribute in their “gruyère”, the genuine one.
As far as the sort of cheese that is used, or the mixts, it is obvious that the taste of the fondue is very very dependent on the cheese. In Annecy there is a restaurant in the anscient city (Fréti) which serves fondues made with different sorts of cheese : vacherin fribourgeois, genuine Swiss gruyere, comté, etc. (they propose some with mushrooms or other ingredients. I am not a fan.) in Gruyère we ate an excellent fondue made with goat cheese. It was just warm and you had to pour the fondue on potatoes. Fondue made with water, not white wine. In Valais we ate a tomato fondue with potatoes too. I wouldn’t call it fantastic…
Now, to make fondue, I’ll have to try Claire’s recipe. Because I also rub the heavy saucepan with garlic I begin to warm the white wine. As soon as it shivers I begin to put in the grated cheese. Turning ceaselessly. I put a little kirsch if I have some but I often forget. When the fondue is good we eat it with pieces of dry bread as Claire does. I do not put Maizena (cornstarch). When the saucepan is almost empty, often I break an egg, I stir and we throw( in pieces of bread. And I serve.
Enjoy your fondue!
( And who has to clean the saucepan and the forks?) ”
[Please forgive the mistakes. It just a quick translation of my French version]
As we said, there are sooooo many yummy fondues ! We didn’t know the trick with the egg, we have to try your recipe as well, Frimousse. To clean the caquelon and the forks, Claire filled the sink with soapy hot water. She puts everything in it, and let it soak for a while. It’s very easy to clean after that. You can do the same with the raclette stuff. Purrs
I’m a fan and we have it often when we sit together with friends and neighbours. They mostly use the french fundueocheese, but I love gruyere… it has such a special taste and it makes it much much better than the boring french cheese. we also use small veggies to dip them in in the melted cheese :o) … think that wise man was right who said fondue is the pot of gold :o)
The head peep loves fondue! She was really excited that she and the manpeep were going out for it earlier this year but he didn’t make a reservation, so they couldn’t get in. You have reminded her that she needs to remind him they still need to have fondue sometime soon!
Mmmmm…anything with cheese in it we would love!
Now what do you suppose would happen if one were to replace the white wine with NIP wine and not use the garlic? Inquiring minds wanna know.
My Master says you garlic is NOT essential. If you don’t like garlic don’t rub the saucepan with garlic; It will still be a very decent fondue.
Now, for the wine, as I wrote in my previous comment I’ve eaten fondue made with water. It was quite good. Some people put milk instead of wine – especially if there is some one on a treatment for alcohol abuse. Just experiment! but use good cheese!
That’s a pawsome idea ! That would be a special kitty fondue ! Purrs
OMC Mom is drooling! She hasn’t had fondue in years….maybe she should drag out her fondue pot and try your recipe!
The Florida Furkids
TW has had it a few times but likes chocolate fondue better. There’s a place in Hoboken that only serves fondues called The Melting Pot but TW hasn’t been there yet.
I have never had fondue and I didn’t realize it had wine in it. I always thought it was just melted cheese. Thanks for the recipe.
pixie & zorro….. de food servizz gurl sayz ta say thanx ta Claire & momo for thiz receipeez !!! we haz never had fondue but it lookz dee lish !!! & any thing with cheeze getz R vote anda 984 paws UP !! ♥♥♥
This looks delicious! Granny and Grandpaw like to eat cheese fondue once in a while. I prefer fish…with or without the fondue 😉 Pawkisses 🙂 <3
mom loves fondue…..it is a Christmas tradition with her family
It sounds delicious! My mum had fondue when she went on a school trip to Interlaken, (Kandersteg) but that was in prehistoric times! She has never had it since.
M went to a party one time where they served Fondue, but she has no idea how it was made. She said it was yummy. She wrote down your recipe and will try that one some time. Thanks for sharing it with us.
My Dad and Mom love Fondue! They have a favorite eating place called the Melting Pot and they love it!
I love fondue but it isn’t as popular in the US as it used to be. You used to see it everywhere, now I rarely see it
how do we not know of these days?!?! 😀 fondue sounds wunnerful! we’ve never had it before and our mom doesn’t think she has either. Happy Cheese Fondue Day!.
pip, smidgen, minnie, hollie, sharpie, ditto
Have a great week…
Noodle and crew
Mum had fondue when she was in Switzerland (as a teenager) and she liked it very much.
Our Mom and Dad love fondue. They say the best they ever had was actually in Gruyere. Our humans also like a nice dark chocolate fondue. We now have a fondue restaurant in our town. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth ad Calista Jo
Fondue is delicious! We never knew how it is made, so this was very fascinating!
Hmmmmmm we’s not so sure ’bout eatin’ dat stuck on da bottom of da pan cheese. MOL As fur fondue, mommy has a couple if fondue pots and luvs it. She specially likes chocolate fondue.
I love cheese fondue and your post remind me I haven’t eaten it in a while 🙂
Mommy says that looks really yummy! She wants to try out the recipe.