Authentic Swiss Fondue

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In this post, I’ll teach you how to make an Authentic Swiss Fondue. They’re quite easy to prepare, once you have the right ingredients, and understand a bit of technique. I can make that claim, “Authentic Swiss Fondue”, because I used to live in Switzerland, and made it a point to eat fondue as often as possible. And I also made it a point to learn how the Swiss prepare theirs. 

How to Make an Authentic Swiss Fondue

Pour a chilled, crisp white wine, get the cheese bubbling hot, stick a chunk of crusty bread on your fork, and dip, and twirl, to your heart’s content.

The original name for this post, before I understood that I’d actually be driving readers away in droves, was Rubber Cement Fondue. That was because if you don’t understand that aforementioned technique? It’s entirely possible you could make the same mistake I did, last time I made one.

Now, that fondue actually it turned out to be quite delicious, but on the particular batch you will see pictured in this post, I learned an important lesson that I will pass along to you, so that you can make a really delicious, authentically Swiss fondue, and avoid the whole unpleasant rubber cement issue.

How I Learned to Make An Authentic Swiss Fondue

This post had its beginnings when I lived in Switzerland. I was attending the University of Lausanne, studying French, and serving as a missionary apprentice. My two roommates (Donna and Val) and I were working for a Ukrainian missionary who did short wave radio broadcasts preaching the gospel to the people of Ukraine (which at that time was still what we used to call behind the Iron Curtain). The missionary also pastored a French speaking congregation there in Lausanne, Switzerland, and so we came to serve him and his family and the congregation there.

As you can imagine, living in Switzerland for a couple of years is not exactly serving the underprivileged, and we LOVED having the opportunity to live there. Donna and Val became like sisters to me, and even now, when we get together every few years or so, we fall back into the same easy, loving friendship. Here’s a picture of the three of us, gathered around the old fondue pot in my purple kitchen in the Boonies. My little girl was so little, back then!

While living in Switzerland, we did a lot of first hand research into how to make a really great fondue. One thing Donna and Val learned on their first trial run, before I arrived, was that if you don’t have white wine, you really can’t substitute red wine in your fondue recipe, or you will have pink fondue. Which might be kind of fun for a winter baby shower where you know the sex of the baby, but really, apart from that, it’s probably not an innovation that’s likely to be much in demand.

Fondue Recipes Differ By Their Region of Origin

The next thing we learned is that every region in Switzerland has its own special fondue recipe variation, and of course, each region believes that theirs is the MOST delicious, but the recipe I’ll offer you is fairly standard, and is a guaranteed winner. That is, if you avoid the mistake that I made the night these pictures were taken.

More about that in a few moments.

What is Kirsch? 

You will notice that kirsch is a listed ingredient. Also called kirschwasser, kirsch is a clear, cherry brandy. It’s available in most any liquor store here in the States, but you may need to ask for help locating it.

I know this, because I found it in the liquor store here in the Boonies, so, if we have it here, I figure it must be available just about anywhere else in the US. 

What Kind of Cheese Do I Need to Make a Swiss Fondue?

You will need two beautiful Swiss cheeses: a Swiss Gruyère and an Emmentaler. There just is no compromising on the cheeses. I tried some American Emmentaler from Trader Joe’s two times ago when I made a fondue, and it was wrong – it was just wrong. There can be no further discussion of this point as far as I am concerned. I can generally find my Gruyère at Costco, and my Emmenthaler at Kroger.

The Swiss Eat Fondue in the Winter

This is a perfect recipe for a cold winter’s night, which is why I am telling you about it in January, 

The Swiss will serve it in the summertime in restaurants, but they will first look at you incredulously, and then, perhaps, somewhat sorrowfully.  However, they’re very polite, and will gladly take your Euros all the same.

When Donna and Val came to visit me in June, we had a fondue, and it was lovely, so feel free to ignore the Swiss prejudice, and serve it any time you darn well please.

How to Make an Authentic Swiss Fondue

How to Make an Authentic Swiss Fondue. Grate a whole bunch of Gruyere, and Emmentaler. Pour a chilled, crisp white wine, get the cheese bubbling hot, stick a chunk of crusty bread on your fork, and dip, and twirl, to your heart’s content.

Without further ado, then, here is how to make lovely, non-rubber cement-like,

Authentic Swiss Fondue Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Authentic Swiss Fondue

How to Make an Authentic Swiss Fondue

A simple, exquisitely divine, authentically Swiss fondue.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove, halved and smashed
  • 2/3 c. dry white wine
  • 1 t. fresh lemon juice
  • 10 oz. Emmenthaler cheese, grated
  • 10 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 3 T. kirsch
  • Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 lb. loaf French bread, cubed

Instructions

  1. Rub the inside of a 4 qt. saucepan with the smashed garlic clove halves, and then rub the inside of your fondue dish as well. Discard the garlic. (chunks of uncooked garlic are not tasty in a fondue)
  2. Pour the wine and the lemon juice into the saucepan, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Gradually add the cheeses, stirring in a figure-eight motion until the cheeses are combined., 3 or 4 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and kirsch until blended.
  4. As soon as the cheese mixture begins to bubble, add the cornstarch mixture. Continue to cook gently, 2 to 3 minutes more, then stir in the white pepper and nutmeg. Reduce the heat to low and keep the fondue warm, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.
  5. When ready to serve, assemble the fondue pot, add the cheese fondue to the pot and keep warm according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve with bread cubes and individually marked fondue forks for dipping.
  6. This recipe barely feeds my family of four, and leaves them whining for more, because they can be somewhat gluttonous when the food is good.

Notes

*****HOW TO AVOID RUBBER CEMENT FONDUE*****

Be sure, before you transfer the melted cheese mixture to the fondue pot, that the cheese is not just barely melted, but is GOOD and HOT.

You don't want it so hot that it separates and breaks down (which is another way of getting it wrong), but if it is only barely melted, it will be so thick you will believe from its texture that it IS rubber cement.

If it IS rubber cement-like, you will need to find a pair of scissors to detach the bread cubes from the glutinous mass of cheese in the fondue pot.

It is good for quite a few belly laughs, but not nearly as appetizing.

If perchance, despite my warning, this DOES happen to you, as the fondue heats up over the fondue pot's burner, it will eventually relax, and still be just as delicious. Don't ask me how I know. Just accept this for the truth that it is.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 929Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 1654mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 50g
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Comments

  1. I'm glad you clarified about the kirsch, because that is what the equivalent of pennies are called here, and that doesn't sound nearly as appetizing.I also appreciate your sympathy for those of us in dry areas of the world without access to certain varieties of cheese. I'll take you up on your offer: have some for me, okay?I wonder if they'll agree to arrange the entire BFM menu around my cravings for things I can't normally get…

  2. Here is what I would do in regard to the BFM menu, in case you haven't already done this on their private group, and I am not kidding.I would make a list of my top 5 most craved for things I can likely find easily in TX. Then, I would begin mentioning them on that group. Advertise. These are a bunch of compassionate, fun loving women. You might be surprised at how many of your longings actually get fulfilled if you just put them out there. (Unless you already have – and if you have – ignore this advice.)Last year Robin and I started talking about In and Out burgers before the event, and that dream became a reality. So did fish tacos, because I mentioned I was longing for some of those. Wishing you the time of your life!

  3. There really should be a warning at the top of this post. I haven't had breakfast yet, and I'm getting really hungry. Unfortunately, the bacon, hash browns, and fried eggs that I had planned don't sound appetizing at all any more.I agree that cheese fondue should be added to the BFM menu. I don't think I can wait that long, though!

  4. Well, then can I have the bacon, hash browns and fried eggs? Please?

  5. I might just do that. Sarah/Sparkler's already bringing me pecans and yarn, two of my loves, so I'm off to a good start. :-)Although I might press for Bluebell dessert buffet one night…

  6. If it's not on the menu, find someone who will have a car, and organize a Bluebell buying expedition and a Bluebell in your hotel room party.Make it fun!

  7. Well, if you insist…

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