by Jane Rodmell for All The Best Fine Foods, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter

A Classic Cheese Fondue Pot
Cheese fondue is back in style at All The Best.

Now’s the time to polish up that old fondue pot that is lurking somewhere at the back of a cupboard and get reacquainted with the delicious taste of a real cheese fondue.

A classic Swiss-style fondue includes the fabulous melting cheeses with rich nutty flavours that are produced in the Swiss Alps. Traditionally equal amounts of Emmenthal, Gruyère and sometimes Appenzeller are slowly melted in a ceramic coated steel pot. Friends gather round to dip small chunks of crusty bread into the aromatic pot filled with a warm, comforting mixture of melted cheeses, wine and Kirsch. A fondue is quick and easy to prepare and a super dish for casual entertaining on a winter’s evening in the city or beside the fire at the country cabin.

Just to put you in the right spirit, at All The Best this month, we are featuring a wonderful cave-aged Gruyere de Grotte at a special price. This exceptional cheese is aged to perfection for a minimum of eighteen months in limestone caves to develop the distinctive rustic flavour and the subtle crystallization which adds a nice contrast to the smooth, creamy texture. These characteristics also make Gruyère de Grotte one of my favourite snacking cheeses as well as a perfect choice when making scalloped potatoes, French onion soup or a dynamite grilled cheese sandwich.

Here is the recipe that we sample in store on some winter evenings…

All The Best Classic Cheese Fondue
12 ozs (350g) grated Emmental
(approx. 4 cups/1L) 
12 ozs (350g) grated Gruyère
(approx. 4 cups/1L) 
1-2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp (30 ml ) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 ml ) dry white wine
4 tsp (20 ml) cornstarch
Kosher or sea salt
½ tsp (2 ml) freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup (75 ml ) kirsch
1-2 baguettes, cut in bite-sized chunks

Combine cheeses in a large bowl.

Cut garlic cloves in half: rub the inside of the pot, chafing dish or heavy saucepan with cut surfaces.

Place butter in fondue pot and set over medium heat.

In a small bowl, combine wine and cornstarch, stirring until cornstarch is dissolved, then stir mixture into melted butter.

When mixture is hot, but not boiling, add a handful of cheese and stir in one direction with a wooden spoon until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until all is melted. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in kirsch just before serving.

Place the fondue pot over low heat at the table. Provide a basket of bread alongside and long-handled forks for each person to spear bread for dipping into the fragrant melted cheese. Enjoy with a chilled, crisp, white wine-a Riesling, Pinot Blanc or Chablis is perfect.

Serves 4 as a main course.

All the best and stay warm,