A Fondness for Fondue

Yum, yum, nothing beats a delicious fondue in my experience. Though I might just be showing my age. Still, there is nothing like to getting together with friends and sharing a warm friendly moment and fondue is a great way to do that.

It is easy to prepare you only need: three cheeses, wine, bread and you're done. The only trick is not to drop your piece of bread which is a fondue faux pas so be careful!

It is easy to make and I have learned a few tricks along the way which I will be sharing with you in just a moment. While you can make a good fondue with just about any cheese there is something that can bes said about a well selected blend that makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

But first the tips.

Rub the garlic on the inside of the pan so that the cheese does not stick afterwards. I learned this the hard way in the beginning and once I tried the garlic trick things got so much better. It is amazing how much this simple step does to improve the fondue.

Cut your cheeses into large cubes. When I first started it seemed like a good idea to make everything as fine as possible. So I grated my cheese. It was a chore but while being under the impression that it was better one that I was pleased to handle. Later I learned that it was better to place large pieces of cheese in the pot and slow cook them over low heat so that they had a better chance to melt together.

Stir, when the cheese begins to melt add the white wine, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and continue to mix this allows the spice to really bring the flavor out and mix with the cheese.

Remove the fondue from the heat when your cheeses have completely melted and the texture is well mixed.

As for cheese there are a number of different styles of fondue to choose from. Here, thanks to wikipedia, are the most common types of mixtures based on the region.

Swiss

  • Vaudoise: Gruyère.
  • Fribourgeoise: Vacherin fribourgeois à fondue, wherein potatoes are often dipped instead of bread. This is the only cheese fondue that does not use wine. The cheese is melted in a few tablespoons of water over low heat.
  • Moitié-moitié (or half and half), also called Fondue Suisse: Gruyère and Fribourg vacherin.
  • Neuchâteloise: Gruyère and Emmental.
  • Innerschweiz: Gruyère, Emmental, and Sbrinz.
  • Genevoise: Gruyère (preferably of several stages of maturity) with a little Emmentaler and Valais cheese. Sometimes chopped sautéed morels are added.
  • Interlaken: Gruyère, Appenzeller, Emmental.
  • Appenzeller: Appenzeller cheese with cream added.
  • Tomato: Gruyère, Emmental, crushed tomatoes, and wine.
  • Spicy: Gruyère, red and green peppers, with chili.
  • Mushroom: Gruyère, Fribourg vacherin, and mushrooms.

French

  • Savoyarde: Comté, Beaufort and one or two other local cheese like Reblochon, Abondance, or French equivalent of Gruyère.
  • Jurassienne: Mature or mild Comté.
  • Auvergnate: Saint-Nectaire, Cantal and Fourme d'Ambert

Italian alpine

  • Valdôtaine (French: Fondue à la valdôtaine or Italian: Fonduta alla valdostana): Fontina, milk, eggs, and truffles, typical of the Aosta Valley;
  • Fonduta piemontese in Piedmont.

Enjoy!

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