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Classic Swiss Fondue(s)

My ideal après-ski is a warm pot of cheese fondue, crusty bread for dipping, and a chilled bottle of white or rosé by our fireplace. Fondue is both dinner and entertainment. It is convivial and brings friends and family together.

This recipe is traditional, straightforward, and classic. Enjoy with a warm fire and close company.

Cornichons, steamed small potatoes, sliced pears, or sliced apples are all good for dipping in addition to cubed bread.

Accordion optional.



You will need a caquelon, fondue pot, or an enameled cast-iron casserole.


½ garlic clove
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
A squeeze of lemon, about ⅛ teaspoon
1.5 pounds grated cheese (see options below)
2 tablespoons kirschwasser or cherry brandy
A few grinds of white pepper
A pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Cheese Options:

Each option should combine to a total of 1.5 pounds of grated cheese. The following are the three heavy hitters. There are many kinds of cheese and combinations you can try (the Internet is your friend here).
Moitié-moitié: equal parts grated Gruyère and Vacharain Fribourgeois. Also known as Fondue Suisse, this is the classic Swiss fondue you would find in the Lake Geneva area.
Interlaken: a mix of grated Gruyère, Emmentaler, and Appenzeller with ratios in declining order of mostly Gruyère, a fair amount of Emmentaler, and a lesser amount of Appenzeller.
Neuchâteloise: grated Gruyère and Emmentaler in a ratio of your choosing.

How To Make

Rub the inside of the pot with the cut side of the ½ garlic clove to coat the interior with garlic essence. Discard garlic.
Over moderate heat combine wine, cornstarch, and lemon juice in the pot and whisk to combine.
Add grated cheese and stir occasionally until cheese is melted, about five minutes.
Add kirschwasser, white pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until creamy, about ten minutes. Simmer, do not boil.
Place pot over fondue burner, gas ring, or another low heat source. Stir while dipping.