swiss cheese fondue: the real deal

janine's real swiss fondue

Janine is a friend of mine from Switzerland living in Cape Town for a year doing her masters degree.  She wanted to bring a bit of home to us and arranged a little fondue dinner party at my house last Friday night.

I have never owned a fondue set.  I figured it would become a ‘white elephant’ piece of kitchen equipment.  Not that I have anything against fondue, I recall a few fun times around a fondue pot and various forfeits executed if the food got dropped and lost etc.

  • oil fondue = a big NO NO
  • cheese fondue = delicious just VERY rich and unhealthy
  • chocolate fondue = awesome! I love melted chocolate

Fondue sets with the long sticks with different colour balls at the end is a thing the parents of my generation own.  Fondue was very big in the seventies.

So we borrowed the burner part from one such friends parents, and then we just used one of my big pots to make the cheese sauce.

My oh my, am I glad Janine made a big batch in a big pot.  The fondue got devoured at a very rapid rate.

This is Janine’s real makoy Swiss fondue recipe which she has so graciously given to me to share.

Its a touchy feely thing, so there may be a bit of deviation here. An important point to remember, and the Swiss are very precise about timing, you cannot make this in advance.  You literally make it after the guests have arrived and about 10 minutes before you want them seated

Here is the the recipe for 4 people:

200g  Appenzeller cheese (extremely smelly and strong cheese)
300g  Emmenthaler cheese
300g Gruyere cheese

If you want the Fondue less strong, than put more Emmenthaler, if you like it stronger more Appenzeller.

3-4 tsp of Corn flour
350ml white wine (dry)
1 tsp lemon juice
2-8 garlic cloves (you can just put as much as you like, you can put it in whole or sliced or even chopped) we used 3 cloves thickly sliced
nut meg – a light grating
pepper – a pinch

optional: some Kirsch to put directly in the Fondue or to dip bread into Schnapps and then into Fondue, or both. 

Bread cut into bite size chunks (wholewheat and white mixed) and  optional are pieces of pears (very nice to alternate between the two)

pear + cheese = marriage made in heaven

To drink: The Swiss drink black tea, wine or schnapps.  We drank white wine (and a LOT of it) and then had schnapps shots for anyone who dropped their bread or fork into the cheese.

Ok – back to how to make this:

Put grated cheese, corn flour and wine into pot and heat up. Stir in a figure of eight form (I’m not going to argue with a Swiss person on this little technique) until all is melted.

Add garlic cloves and spices and optional Kirsch (A good splash of kirsch at this stage gives it a nice sweet edge)

If the Fondue gets to thin, put either more cheese or corn flour, if its too thick put more wine or kirsch.

Once its all melted and ready on the kitchen stove, carry through to the table and place on the heating thingy.

This fondue was absolutely delicious and had the perfect texture of being very soft but solidifying enough as you took the fork out so as not to drip everywhere.

Oh – I forgot to mention before we had fondue we ate salad. Its about all your body can deal with before the onslaught of the main course, and helps balance things out. We even managed dessert which consisted of a ‘dip and and share’ platter of strawberries, chocolate mouse, millionaires shortbread and WW malted puffs.

Yes, yes I know I am supposed to be on diet.

getting stuck right into the creamy molten deliciousness

This was a little childhood- Heidi fantasy moment for me and I will definitely be repeating this meal, or attempting to do it next winter.

Thank you Janine for this beautiful meal.

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One Comment

  1. Hi there.

    I live in Pretoria (sorry) and just can not find a cheese fondue set.
    Can you help me out?
    Your recipe is spot on and i will be doing that.
    Hope to hear from you guys soon.


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