Ah, la fondue au fromage! - A classic French dish that's beloved all over the world! Here's a comprehensive guide to cheese fondue that'll help you make a delicious pot of melted cheese goodness.
What is Cheese Fondue?
Cheese fondue is a dish made of melted cheese that's traditionally served in a communal pot over a portable stove. It originated in the Swiss Alps in the 18th century and quickly became popular in France as well. Today, it's a staple of French cuisine and is enjoyed in many other countries as well.
The most important ingredient in cheese fondue is, of course, cheese. Here are the cheeses typically used in a traditional cheese fondue:
- Gruyère: This is a hard, yellow Swiss cheese with a nutty flavour.
- Emmental: This is another Swiss cheese with a mild, nutty flavour.
- Comté: This is a semi-hard French cheese with a slightly sweet, nutty flavour.
In addition to cheese, you'll also need a few other ingredients to make cheese fondue:
- White wine: This is used to thin out the cheese and give it a tangy flavour. Choose a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
- Cornstarch: This is used to thicken the cheese and prevent it from separating.
- Garlic: This is used to flavour the cheese and give it a little kick.
- Kirsch: This is a cherry-flavoured brandy that's traditionally added to Swiss cheese fondue. It's optional, but it adds a nice touch of flavour.
Making cheese fondue is fairly simple, but it does require a bit of prep work. Here's how to do it:
- Grate the cheese: Grate the Gruyère, Emmental, and Comté cheeses and mix them together in a bowl.
- Prepare the pot: Rub a garlic clove around the inside of the fondue pot. This will give the cheese a garlicky flavour. Then, add the white wine to the pot and heat it up over medium heat. You want the wine to be hot, but not boiling.
- Add the cheese: Slowly add the grated cheese to the pot, stirring constantly. You want to add the cheese a little at a time and make sure it's fully melted before adding more.
- Thicken the cheese: Once all the cheese is melted, mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and add it to the cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese thickens.
- Add the kirsch: If you're using kirsch, add a tablespoon or two to the cheese and stir it in.
- Serve: Place the fondue pot on a portable stove and light it. Serve the fondue with cubes of bread, vegetables, and/or apples.
Tips and Variations
- Keep stirring: It's important to keep stirring the cheese as you add it to the pot. This will help prevent the cheese from separating or burning.
- Dip in: The best way to enjoy cheese fondue is to dip cubes of bread, vegetables, and/or apples into the melted cheese.
- Get creative: There are many variations of cheese fondue you can try. For example, you can add bacon, mushrooms, or truffle oil to the cheese for extra flavour.
- Keep it hot: If the fondue starts to thicken as it cools, you can add a little more white wine to thin it out.
- Don't double dip: It's considered bad manners to double dip your bread or vegetables into the fondue. Instead, take a bite and then dip again.
Cheese fondue is a classic French dish that's been enjoyed for centuries. It's a fun and interactive meal that's perfect for sharing with friends and family. While it may seem intimidating to make, it's actually quite easy once you get the hang of it.
When making cheese fondue, it's important to choose the right cheeses. Gruyère, Emmental, and Comté are the most common cheeses used in traditional cheese fondue, but you can experiment with other types of cheese as well.
The key to a great cheese fondue is to keep stirring the cheese as you add it to the pot. This will help prevent the cheese from separating or burning. Once the cheese is melted, you can add other ingredients like garlic, white wine, and kirsch for extra flavour.
When serving cheese fondue, it's traditional to serve it with cubes of bread, vegetables, and/or apples for dipping. It's important to remember not to double dip your bread or vegetables into the fondue, as it's considered bad manners.
While cheese fondue is a classic dish, there are many variations you can try. For example, you can add bacon, mushrooms, or truffle oil to the cheese for extra flavour. You can also experiment with different types of cheese or serve the fondue with different dipping options.
Therefore, cheese fondue is a delicious and fun meal that's perfect for sharing with loved ones. With a little bit of practice, you can make a great pot of melted cheese that everyone will enjoy. So gather your friends and family and dip into some French delight with a delicious cheese fondue!