Fondue is probably one of my favorite meals. Fondue is derived from the French word "fonder" which means "melt". Originating in Switzerland back in the 18th century, this dish consists of at least two different cheeses that are melted with wine, flour and served communally out of a pot called a "caquelon". The "caquelon" is heated on a cooktop over medium heat and is then transferred to the table and placed over a alcohol burner or a hot plate. Long forks are used so each guest can spear different ingredients and dip them into the cheese.
A traditional Swiss fondue consists of Gruyere and Emmenthaler. They provide the perfect balance between sharp and subtle flavors that compliment each other well. The cheeses are most commonly melted in a dry white wine which helps keep the cheese from the direct heat as it melts as well as adds slight flavor.
Other types of fondue have become popular over the years. Broth or Boillon is a simple vegetable broth or bouillon. This makes a lighter less caloric meal than the cheese or hot oil versions. Chocolate fondue is also a favorite used for dipping ripe fruits, angel food cake, marshmallows, and pretzels.
Different fondue sets exist. I personally enjoy the Le Creuset Fondue Set. This classic fondue set blends the fun of fondue with high quality results. Durable enameled cast iron delivers smooth, even heating--and can be used to prepare fondue on the stovetop or in the over before transferring to the table for serving. It comes with a study base that elevates the pot above the burner to keep your fondue warm and ready to serve. And of course it comes with 6 fondue forks. It's a tad pricey $199.95, but it's easy to clean, never burns the cheese, looks great and will last forever.
I paired my fondue with:
1 Garlic Clove
1 1/2 cups Dry White Wine
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1/2 pounds Emmental Cheese (coarsely grated = 2 cups)
1/2 pounds Gruyere (coarsely grated = 2 cups)
1. Rub the inside of your pot with garlic, then discard. Add wine and bring to a simmer over medium heat
2. Gradually add cheese to pot and cook, stirring constantly in a zigzag pattern, until cheese in melted. Add cornstart and stir again
3. Bring fondue to a simmer and cook, until thickened, 5 - 8 minutes. Transfer to the fondue heated base and serve!