Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue
Be patient while stirring the cheese! The results will be worth the wait.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4–6
- 1½ pounds Gruyère cheese
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 loaf French bread
- 3 tablespoons kirsch
- 1 garlic clove
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ cups dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Finely dice the Gruyère cheese and set aside. Cut the French bread into cubes and set aside.
Smash the garlic, peel, and cut in half. Rub the garlic around the inside of a medium saucepan. Discard. Add the wine to the saucepan and warm on medium-low heat. Don't allow the wine to boil.
When the wine is warm, stir in the lemon juice. Add the cheese, a handful at a time. Stir the cheese continually in a sideways figure eight pattern. Wait until the cheese is completely melted before adding more. Don't allow the fondue mixture to boil.
When the cheese is melted, dissolve the cornstarch in the kirsch and add to the cheese, stirring. Turn up the heat until it is just bubbling and starting to thicken. Stir in the cayenne pepper and caraway seeds. Transfer to a fondue pot and set on the burner. Serve with the French bread for dipping.
Swiss Fondue Origins
Fondue originated hundreds of years ago in Swiss mountain villages, created by farm families looking for a way to use cheese and bread that had hardened during the cold winter months. Someone discovered that hardened cheese becomes perfectly edible when melted, and that crusty bread makes the perfect accompaniment. Swiss fondue is sometimes called Neuchâtel Fondue due to the fact that it was originally made with Neuchâtel wine.