Bring back the 70's with this Classic Cheese Fondue! Ready in 15-minutes! Serve this Swiss cheese appetizer with bread, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, shrimp--just about everything goes great with fondue! So throw on your bell bottoms, slice up the French bread and let's bring back the 70's with this classic party dip!
There's nothing more fun and festive than inviting a group of friends over to gather around the fondue pot! Use your imagination for fondue dippers- cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, bites of seared steak, mushrooms, bread cubes, broccoli, chopped carrots, cauliflower or steamed mini potatoes. If you can get it on a fondue skewer, than you can dip it, right?!
Fondue is fun and you'll love this easy recipe!
Cocktail-party foods have a tendency to trend and back in the 70's, all the rage was over fondue! Just about every hostess had a fondue set ready to entertain guests at any time. Creamy, warm cheese served in a sterno-lit chafing dish with an assortment of "dippers," (typically french bread) on a metal skewer.
This Swiss cheese dip hails from Switzerland, where snow skiers would gather around the melting pot with their warm drinks and dip bread bites into a creamy cheese dip.
What you'll need
The secret to a really creamy, flavorful fondue is to use the right cheese. You can to make sure it's a great melting cheese with little oil residue.
The best cheese for fondue
Since cheese is the star of classic fondue, you want to buy a high-quality block of cheese. Any one of these will work beautifully or, use a combination of melting cheeses. You want the best quality aged fromage from a specialty store or the gourmet department of your grocer. Any one, or a combination of these melting cheeses makes a delicious fondue cheese dip!
- Gruyere is a favorite in Swiss fondue because it offers a nutty, buttery flavor and melts beautifully!
- Emmental, also known as Emmentaler or Emmental, is basically Swiss offers a slight tangy flavor.
- Fontina is also from cow's milk, and has a nutty, yet slightly sweet flavor. When combined, these three cheese varieties make the perfect fondue for dipping bread and enjoying a glass of wine.
In addition to a high-quality cheese, you'll need a little cornstarch, nutmeg, a clove of garlic, white wine and lemon juice...that's it!
How to make it
Make this classic cheese fondue in a big saucepan on the stovetop, then transfer it to the a warm fondue pot for dipping.
In a large mixing bowl add shredded cheese; sprinkle cornstarch over shredded cheese and combine well
Coat the cheese well with the cornstarch
Why cornstarch? Can I use flour instead?
Aged cheeses like Gruyere, Emmental, and Fontina are high in acid and can become stringy when melted. The cornstarch helps bind the proteins in the cheese to prevent stringy or clumpy cheese fondue.
If you do not have cornstarch, use twice as much all-purpose white flour (¼ cup) and whisk into melted cheese in 1 tablespoon increments. (You may not need the full ¼ cup.)
Pour a little white wine and place a garlic clove in a saucepan; heat on medium; add the shredded cheese, remove the garlic clove, add lemon juice, nutmeg and taste for salt and pepper
How to serve fondue
For best results, you'll want to invest in a fondue pot or chafing dish. Most traditional fondue servers stand over a direct heat source, generally a can of Sterno®, which keeps the creamy cheese dip warm.
There are several fondue pots on the market (both traditional and electric), and each comes with 4-6 color-coded skewers.
What to dip in fondue
The traditional "dippers" for fondue are bite-sized nuggets of bread. Other delicious options are:
- cherry tomatoes
- small red potatoes
- bell peppers, carrots
- cubes of beef tenderloin
Can I make fondue in advance?
If you're hosting a party and want to get a jump on preparations, make this classic fondue up to two days in advance. Store it in the refrigerator-tightly covered.
No wine? No problem
Substitute white wine with a little extra lemon juice or a pinch of white distilled vinegar...it's the acid that's key here...it keeps the melted cheeses from clumping. See Recipe Notes.
Storing and reheating fondue
Store fondue in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. When you're ready to serve, add the cheese to a large saucepan set on medium-low heat, and cook until it melts, stirring constantly. Transfer to warm fondue pot. If sauce is clumpy, add a little water and whisk well.
This classic cheese fondue is always a big hit, particularly if you're entertaining a group and have a nice charcuterie board nearby!
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♥ If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rating! I love to hear from you!
Classic Cheese Fondue
- Fondue Server and skewers
- ⅓ lb. Gruyere shredded
- ⅓ lb. Fontina shredded
- ⅓ lb. Emmental grated
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 clove whole garlic clove peeled; not cut or sliced
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add wine and whole clove of garlic; allow to heat for 5 minutes
- Shred cheese and place in a large bowl⅓ lb. Gruyere, ⅓ lb. Fontina, ⅓ lb. Emmental
- Add cornstarch to cheese; coat cheese well2 tablespoons corn starch
- Add shredded cheese gradually to wine, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon
- Once all cheese has been melted, remove garlic clove, add nutmeg and lemon juice1 clove whole garlic clove
- Pour cheese into fondue serving dish and enjoy with your favorite dippers-bread, apples or shrimp1 tablespoon lemon juice
- If you don't want to use white wine, (the recipe calls for ½ cup), then use ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice. (If you use bottled concentrated lemon juice, start with 2 tablespoons.)
- Taste it and see if it's too tangy. If it is, add ¼ cup of water. Taste it again.
- The purpose of the acid (wine or lemon) is to keep the cheese from coagulating.