Ah, you knew it was coming… the fondue post from Switzerland. Going to Switzerland without recreating a fabulous fondue at home would be like, well, I don’t know – it simply isn’t done.
Fondue options abound in Switzerland. If you happen to find yourself in Old Town Geneva (lucky you!), don’t miss Restaurant des Antiquaires. Their whole menu is fabulous (my travel companion and I visited more than once), and their fondue options are simply sublime.
Moité – moité means “half and half,” and refers to the blend of two cheeses found in many Swiss fondues. Typically, the two cheeses are Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois, although Emmentaler (a high quality version of the medium-hard, hole filled “Swiss” cheese) is sometimes paired with the Gruyère instead.
A few notes on Swiss fondue. First, cheese fondue is the only “traditional” Swiss fondue, and is served with cubed bread – only – for dipping. If you find yourself in a Swiss restaurant which serves chocolate fondue, or offers all sorts of weird things to dip in cheese fondue, you have wandered into a tourist trap! Second, fondue is traditionally served as the main course in Switzerland. Don’t fill up on appetizers… fondue is a hearty dish! Third, if you are looking for a quiet, serene dinner, a fondue restaurant may not be the place for you. I enjoyed the rhythmic chopping of bread cubes and whistle of steamers cleaning fondue pots, but be aware that the ambiance is quite lively.
In the recipe I’ve created for you below, I am using Wisconsin cheeses. I’m all for authentic ingredients, but truly, there are plenty of Wisconsin cheeses produced using Old World methods that can hold their own against cheeses shipped from Europe. I am also including mushrooms, which compliment fondue beautifully. If you don’t like mushrooms, just leave them out.
1 garlic clove
6 crimini mushrooms, finely diced
1/2 pound of Wisconsin Baby Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 pound of Wisconsin Grand Cru Gruyère cheese, grated
1 triangle of “Laughing Cow” Creamy Swiss (it helps with with texture)
1 cup of California Sauvignon Blanc wine
Step 2) Add diced mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of the wine. Sauté for about 3 minutes, or until mushrooms give up their liquid.
Step 3) Add all three cheeses to the pan and melt over low-medium heat with constant stirring. Add the wine, a little at a time, to keep the cheese mixture thin enough to stir without clumping together.
Step 4) Taste, adding a sprinkle of sea salt if necessary.
Step 5) When mixture has melted completely, transfer to a fondue pot. Serve immediately with cubed French bread and long dipping forks. Enjoy!