How To Cheese Fondue
Snow or no snow, 'tis the season for fondue savoyarde. Everyone claims they own the recipe to the real, authentic cheese fondue, but we actually truly do (haha).
Jokes aside, my beloved grandfather, whom we just lost last week, grew up in Haute-Savoie in the French Alps. This is how my family makes it. It's simple and pretty flippin' good.
- Loads of traditional bread (baguettes, country breads), ideally a bit stale (1 day old); cut in 1-inch squares
- 200 grams of cheese per person - Fondue is made of 3 types of grated cheeses:
- Emmental de Savoie (if you want it stringy) or gruyère suisse
- 1 bottle of Savoie white wine (dry, never sweet)
- 1 garlic clove cut in half
- Possible accompaniments: ham, cured meats, sausages, potatoes, salad...
- Fondue pot with special forks (long with 2 prongs)
- Tabletop food warmer
- Wooden spoon or spatula
Rub the inside of the pot with garlic. Melt a little chunk of butter and start warming up the pot on your stove on medium-high.
Once it is hot, add the grated cheese to the pot. Warm it up a bit before covering it up with the white wine.
Now on low-medium fire, start a process of constant churning so the cheese doesn't stick to the bottom of the fondue pot. It is essential to do so clockwise in a figure 8. Some even say that one must use a spatula made of wood from a spruce tree that was harvested before its needles had fallen. Good luck with that.
Churn until the mix is melted, hot and homogeneous. When it is, add a small spoon of mustard and transfer the pot to the dinner table onto the tabletop food warmer.
Gather your favorite peeps around the pot with its accompaniments, and serve the same wine used to prepare the fondue.
Pierce a chunk of bread crust first with your long fork, dip it into the pot to coat it with the mixture, eat, repeat.
Give out playful punishments to those who lose their piece of bread in the pot. Suggestions: go around the table on 1 foot, don't say yes or no until someone else loses their chunk of bread in the pot, spell your name backwards, mime something other guests will have to guess...
When the level of fondue mix is thick and low (almost gone), tradition is to break an egg into the pot. Mix it well and savor the eggy cheesiness. Or the cheesy egginess, as you want.
Have people over for a fondue night asap, enjoy, and leave us a comment.
Words: Cécile Charlot.