Fall, foliage, fromage & fondue- ‘tis the season for this melty delight, ya’ll.
Fondue dates all the way back to the 18th century. Ledged has it that the tradition of fondue began because the chilly winter months of Switzerland prevented local villagers from making regular trips to the market. In order to weather the storm, they would stock up on aged cheeses and bread during the warmer months to hold them over through the blistery cold. The bread would eventually become stiff with age so they devised a clever way to enjoy their stale bread well, enjoyably. Que melted cheese. The moist, gooeyness of the fondue brought that bread back to life and alas, the birth of fondue. The word fondue comes from the French word, ‘fondre’, which means ‘to melt’ which is in essence what fondue is—melted cheese! Free Slurpee day aside, what is better than melted cheese? NOTHING. Forage your local markets for these few simple ingredients and swing by the shop to grab the cheese that you’ll be melting this season.
Cheese Fondue Recipe
Derived from The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reich)
1 garlic clove, halved crosswise1.5 cups dry white wine1 tablespoon cornstarch2 teaspoons kirsch2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (or semi soft, medium bodied Swiss style, about 8 oz)2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere (about 8 oz)
ACCOMPANIMENT: cubes of bread
Rub inside of a 4-quart heavy saucepan with cut sides of garlic, then discard garlic. Add wine to pan and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat. Stir together cornstarch and kirsch in a cup.
Gradually add cheese to pot and cook, stirring constantly in a zigzag pattern, not a circular motion, tp prevent cheese from clumping, until cheese is just melted and creamy; do not let boil. Stir cornstarch mixture again and stir into fondue. Bring fondue to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.