Cold winter nights and views of snow-capped mountains have us craving the ultimate après-ski dinner, and bubbling pots of fondue find themselves just as at home on tables in the Green Mountains as they are in the Alps.
The earliest mentions of fondue date back to the late 1600s. A simple dish, it was a way for Alpine farm families to make their precious stores of cheese and bread last through the winter. It rapidly grew in popularity across France and Switzerland during the colder months, and in 1930 was designated Switzerland's national dish. Fondue is so strongly linked to the Swiss identity that after World War II rationing ended, the Swiss government sent fondue kits to its military regiments returning home. Fondue hit the global stage thanks to its feature in the 1964 World's Fair in New York, and the rest, as they say, is history.
There are hundreds of regional recipes, but we like keeping it traditional — a classic blend of Gruyere, Raclette, and Emmentaler — and inviting our closest friends and family around to dip with us.
It's just the thing for these deep days of winter when the cold settles on your bones; gather some friends around, roast up some veggies, and get to melting!
- These three cheeses are a very classic Alpine combo, but can be substituted for any other meltable cheese. It’s entirely up to your taste.
- Big garlic fan? Add it chopped to your wine reduction, instead of just rubbing the pot. Trade up to roasted garlic for a sweeter addition.
- Any dry white wine will work, but bottles from the Savoie (a region of France that includes the French Alps) are especially fitting - spare a bit from a bottle of Ardoisières Cuveé Silice 2020, and enjoy the rest with dinner.
- Kirsch might be a bit hard to find, but don’t worry - easy substitutes include vermouth, brandy, and whiskey.
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 3/4 lb Gruyere, grated
- 3/4 lb Emmentaler, grated
- 1/2 lb Raclette, grated
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp kirsch
- To taste: fresh grated nutmeg
- To taste: fresh ground black pepper
- Rub a heavy-bottom pot with the peeled garlic clove; discard the clove.
- Combine all three cheeses, grated, in a large mixing bowl; toss with the cornstarch, coating the cheese evenly.
- Heat the white wine and lemon juice over medium-low heat, until bubbles just begin to form on the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the cheese in four parts, stirring constantly, until fully melted, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the kirsch, nutmeg, and black pepper. Serve immediately.