The choice of cheese is the most critical aspect of making real Swiss Fondue. You will need Swiss Aged Gruyere and Swiss Vacherin (Vacherin Fribourgeois). The quantity of cheese needed is simple to calculate: 1/2 lb of cheese per person, (less for kids).
So for 4 people, you will need:
- 1 lb Gruyere and 1 lb of Vacherin (total of 2 lbs, 4 x 1/2lb)
- 1 cup white wine (dry)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tps corn starch
- pinch of baking soda
- 2 loaf of bread.
Not sourdough!! Too strong. Find a nice round white bread with thick crunchy crust. Cut in thick slices, do not cut in cubes, cut slices only a few minutes before serving the fondue, you do not want the bread to dry. People will break the bread slices in cubes themselves on their plate. (this is a Swiss tradition…)
- Small cornichons (gherkins)
- Cured meats: Brasiola (italian dried beef), Prociotto, etc…
White wine, dry preferable. Alsacian wine works well. Not chardonnay, too sweet.. If your wine store has Swiss Fendant and it’s not over priced, then get some.
For non-wine drinkers, serve hot tea. Avoid cold non-alcoholic drinks during the meal. Cold drinks will harden the cheese in your stomach, you don’t want that. After the meal, serve a nice digestive, like Kirshwasser, Italian Grappa, or any other spirit, it will help digestion.
The best type of fondue pot is made out of cast iron with enamel coating. Do not use ceramic pots, they don’t propagate the heat well at all.
Cook the fondue:
If you cook for 8 people, use 2 fondue pots.
- Grade all the cheese in one big bowl, mix well
- Rub the inside of fondue pot with garlic.
- Put fondue pots on the stove (medium heat)
- Add 1 cup of white wine to pot
- Add 1 tsp of corn starch – mix well
- Add cheese
- Mix constantly and gently with wooden spoon until cheese is completely melted
- If fondue is still too thick, add a little more white wine, mix well.
WARNING: DO NOT MAKE IT TOO LIQUID! Can’t undo!
- Light the burner on the table. Make sure everyone is ready to go! Fondue does not wait.
- Once all the cheese is melted and fondue is smooth, add a pinch of baking soda, mix, and bring fondue pot right away to table burner.
- Add black pepper to both bots and have everyone ready to dig! No waiting…