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a red caquelon filled with real swiss cheese fondue on a wooden board surface surrounded by various ingredients

Authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue 

A simple meal best enjoyed with friends, Swiss cheese fondue can be enjoyed year round, but is especially popular over the holiday season and New Years. Surprisingly easy to make, fondue is best made with just a few simple ingredients. Serve it with a nice glass of wine, and some rustic sourdough bread!

During my work-term as a cook in Switzerland, I had the good fortune of being exposed to a lot of new foods I had never tried before. Cheese Fondue being one of them. I clearly remember sitting down to lunch with my Uncle in the Gasthaus ‘Restaurant Windstock‘ in Rickenbach/Schwyz, where we decided to order the fondue (Kaesefondue), and I was excited to soon be dipping various items into a big pot of delicious cheesiness.a large red fondue pot filled with swiss cheese fondue surrounded by crusty bread, kirsch, and cheese

 

Little did I know that only chunks of bread are traditionally dipped into a Swiss cheese fondue. Quite honestly I had never had anything but a broth based fondue before so I was completely surprised at how simple, yet delicious and fun, this meal was.

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Real Swiss Cheese Fondue

Traditionally a Swiss cheese fondue is made with two different kinds of cheese, depending on the region of Switzerland you’re in. Regional recipes include varying amounts of Appenzeller, Gruyère, and Emmentaler cheeses. Different variations are created by adding ingredients such as mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, and even chilies.  

If properly heated and kept at a consistent temperature, a cheese fondue will create a toasty crust on the inside walls of the caquelon (the fondue pot) which can be eaten like a chip once the fondue pot is emptied.

A blue flame burning underneath of a fondue pot

To ensure you do properly heat the Swiss cheese fondue, it’s best to use a proper fondue set meant for this style of dish. Avoid using a regular stove pot which may not be suited to sitting over a flame for an extended period of time. This can result in a burnt cheese fondue creating a horrible flavor and ruining the fondue.

Before starting this cheese fondue recipe make sure you have a good fondue set, as well as fuel on hand.

Picking The Right Fondue Set & Fuel

There are many kinds of fondue sets available, ranging from modern electrical models to the more traditional fuel burning sets. A traditional fondue set will include an enameled cast iron fondue pot, stand, forks, and fuel holder.
Special fondue gel or liquid fuels can be purchased, but always make sure to check what kind of burner fuel your fondue set is made for first.

  • If the cap unscrews and has an empty chamber, a gel insert or gel fuel is likely meant to be used. 
  • If the burner lid doesn’t unscrew and you can see a little felt or cotton looking pad inside the chamber, chances are the burner uses a liquid fuel.

Note: If your fondue burner uses liquid fuel you can use methyl hydrate ( also known as wood alcohol) instead of the ‘fondue fuel’  which is usually just methyl hydrate which has a blue dye added. Methyl hydrate can be bought in bulk as paint stripper at hardware stores and is considerably cheaper than buying the brand name fondue fuel.

Various Fuels that may be used in cheese fondues

Once lit, the fuel burner often has a clear flame if no dye is mixed in with the fuel. For these reasons, children should not refill or light the fondue burner.

What Cheese Should I Use To Make Fondue?

As mentioned above, the most common Swiss cheese fondues are made using:

  • Appenzeller cheese
  • Gruyère cheese
  • and Emmentaler cheese

The most common recipes call for a simple ‘half & half’ ratio of shredded Gruyère and Emmental cheese melted with white wine. Melting the cheese in grated form as opposed to melting chunks or cubes will ensure the cheese melts evenly with no lumps or burnt bits in the end product. 

To help keep the melted cheese mixture smooth, a dry white wine is used. A splash of lemon juice can also be added if more acid is needed.To help stabilize the cheese and prevent it from splitting, starches such as corn, or potato starch are often added to the fondue, though they are not traditional. 

Once the cheese has completely melted and reached a smooth consistency, a splash of kirsch liqueur is added to finish the fondue.

My Favorite Swiss Cheese Fondue Recipe

But let’s get down to the reason we are all here…..making and eating cheese fondue. For this recipe you’ll need :

  • 450 grams of Gruyere cheese
  • 300 grams of Emmentaler Cheese
  • 1 cup dry white wine (I used Kim Crawfords Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 clove garlic cut in half, then minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp kirsch
  • 1 loaf of your favorite sourdough or crusty French bread

Instructions

  1. Begin by taking the clove of garlic and rubbing the inside of the caquelon (fondue dish) with the cut side, spreading the natural garlic oil on the surface. Mince the clove afterwards. Mix the the white wine and cornstarch in the fondue pot and stir well to dissolve the starch.A garlic clove being rubbed on the inside of a cast iron fondue caquelon.
  2. Light the fondue burner and gently heat the wine. 
  3. As the wine gently heats, shred the cheese on a handheld box grater or other grating device, and add it to the wine.
  4. Finish the Swiss cheese fondue with a splash of kirsch. a red caquelon filled with real swiss cheese fondue on a wooden board surface surrounded by various ingredients

 

Once the cheese fondue is prepared and ready to eat, turn the flame on the burner to low and enjoy the fondue by dipping large chunks of crusty bread into the cheese. ]Paired with a nice dry white wine you can’t go wrong with a good homemade Swiss cheese fondue. Other items such as blanched vegetables or raw fruit (such as apples) could also be used to dip in the cheese.

Have you made Swiss Cheese Fondue at home? Take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest 

a red caquelon filled with real swiss cheese fondue on a wooden board surface surrounded by various ingredients
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5 from 1 vote

Authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue

A simple meal best enjoyed with friends, fondue makes a fun appetizer or meal. Make this traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue at your next get together or party.
Course Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine Swiss
Keyword How do you make swiss cheese fondue?, what do you dip in swiss cheese fondue?, what is the best cheese for fondue?
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 2874.6kcal
Author Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 450 grams Gruyere Cheese
  • 300 grams Emmentaler Cheese
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine - I used Kim Crawfords Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp kirsch
  • 1 loaf of your favourite sourdough or crusty French bread

Instructions

  • Begin by taking the clove of garlic and rubbing the inside of the caquelon (fondue dish) with the cut side, spreading the natural garlic oil on the surface. Mince the clove afterwards. 
  • Mix the the white wine and cornstarch in the fondue pot and stir well to dissolve the starch. Light the fondue burner and gently heat the wine.
  • As the wine gently heats, shred the cheese on a handheld box grater or other grating device, and add it to the wine.
  • Finish the Swiss cheese fondue with a splash of kirsch.

Please note that some links in this post lead to affiliate sites, for which Earth, Food, and Fire may be compensated should you complete a purchase. This helps keep us online, creating awesome new content every week. For more information please read our affiliate disclaimer.


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A simple meal best enjoyed with friends, fondue makes a fun appetizer or meal. Make this traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue at your next get together or party! #fondue #cheesefondue #appetizers

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4 Comments

  1. Wow Markus, I had no idea that fondue had such a science behind it! Thanks for the in-depth overview! Looks delightful and more flavourful than your North America ‘melt cheese and call it a day’ varieties!

  2. Such a delicious and simple recipe to use my homemade Emmental and Gruyere cheeses in.

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