Swiss Cheese Fondue, Slow Cooker Chocolate Fondue Salted Caramel Fondue, Jalapeno Popper Cheese Fondue… I’m sure at one time or another you’ve probably tried some form of fondue at a party or get-together. Whether you enjoy the thick, melted cheese version or the sweet, chocolatey variation, fondue is a classic food that has been enjoyed for decades! But, did you know that the cheese version is the only type that dates back to Switzerland? Not even chocolate fondue was developed in Switzerland (even though the country is known for it’s chocolate!), the treat was purely an American idea. I was pretty surprised to find that out when I visited Switzerland last February, as none of the restaurants had it on their menus!
Cheese fondue was originally enjoyed by poor Swiss families who melted their aged cheese into a “sauce” to dip their hard bread in. Nowadays, cheese fondue can be found all across Switzerland. The delicacy (or at least that’s what the tourists seem to consider it) is a big hit in the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt. The quaint ski town, located at the base of the Matterhorn, is dotted with restaurants that serve the traditional Swiss cuisine. After a few hours on the slopes, a big pot of melted fondue is the perfect thing to warm up to.
Jacob and I traveled to Zermatt this past year, and our first night out on the town happened to be on Valentine’s Day. Of course EVERY single restaurant in the ski resort was packed. Some how we happened to find a restaurant that was able to seat the two of us. Naturally, we ordered a pot of traditional Swiss fondue to share. The “foodie” in me was dying of excitement, as I finally had the chance to try the real thing! It certainly did not disappoint!
10 months later, I finally decided to get around to making some Swiss cheese fondue of my own. While eating this fondue in my tiny apartment is not quite the same as enjoying it at a restaurant with a view of the Swiss Alps, I would say this recipe comes pretty darn close to the real thing! Served with your choice of bread, veggies (I like broccoli and carrots), potatoes and whatever else your heart desires, this is the perfect meal to enjoy on a cold winter’s night.
So what are you waiting for? Grab out your fondue pot (or turn on your stove) and gather some friends to help you enjoy your homemade Swiss cheese fondue!
Might I add, that this is the perfect food to serve at your New Year’s Eve party tomorrow…hint, hint.
By the way, since this is officially my last post of 2016…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded (8 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups Emmental (or Swiss) cheese, shredded (6 ounces)
- 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 garlic cloves, chopped)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Dash of salt
- Dash of paprika
- Bread, veggies, meat etc. for dipping
Toss the shredded Gruyere and Emmental with the cornstarch.
In a saucepan, add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Add the cheese, a half-cup at a time, while stirring constantly. Stir with a wooden spoon using an 8-shaped motion to help the cheese melt evenly.
Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and smooth. Add the rest of the spices before removing from heat.
Transfer fondue to a fondue pot (if you have one, a small crockpot could also work).
Serve with your choice of broccoli, carrots, apples, bread, potatoes, sausage, etc. Get adventurous!
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
This is the non-alcoholic version, but white wine can easily be used in place of the chicken broth if you prefer. 1 1/4 cups of wine (or more, if it's too thick) will do the trick!