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Classic Cheese Fondue

"Asterix with the Swiss " - Obelix enjoying classic cheese fondue.

We can hardly talk about Raclette without mentioning its other close relative - the Cheese Fondue. Cheese Fondue is a dish where two or more cheese types are combined together (and raclette cheese often is one of them), dry white wine added and is melted to form a smooth liquid consistency. Ideally it is cooked in a wide earthenware or terracotta pot to help distribute the heat evenly and is kept warm on a fondue pot burner. Guests take crusty bread cubes and dip them into the cheese mixture with long skewers. Other Fondue dishes use hot oil, chicken broths or spicey wine instead of cheese to cook dipped ingredients such as meat cubes and vegetables.

The Cheese fondue has quite humble origins as Swiss households made the most economic use of everyday ingredients. Based on the concept of eating from a communal pot which is common to many other cultures too. Each canton in Switzerland lay claim to their own version of the Cheese Fondue using cheese made in that particular region. The French preferring Comtè and Beaufort cheeses and the Swiss preferring Gruyère and Emmental as the basis for their cheese fondues. Raclette cheese also tastes very good in a cheese fondue.

Gathering around a pot of bubbling something creates a special warmth and togetherness. Gemütlichkeit is a German word for cosyness or feeling pleasure in a comfortable atmosphere. Ski lodges, country cabins, old dimly lit village pubs have the same intimate atmosphere. It's sometimes difficult to create in modern restaurants but having Raclette or Fondue at home is a great chance to enjoy an old tradition and delicious fun meal.

Sometimes fondue is portrayed as back in vogue again. But the truth is it never went out of culinary fashion. The French, Germans and Swiss have been continuing to have fondue long before and long after we heard about it here in Australia. It hit our Australian table tops in the 70's when prawn cocktails and casseroles were in. It was the year 1968 when manufacturers were able to forge aluminum pots with an acrylic coloured outer coatings. Suddenly homes were swamped by bright orange, green, or blue coloured, flowery patterned fondue sets.

Regardless if fondue is back in vogue again, thankfully the cheeses that we use to make Fondue remain available to us in Australia and wont be in any way loosing their popularity in the near future.

Recipe for Classic Cheese Fondue:

serves 4

  • 300g Emmenthal cheese (hazelnut aromatic flavour)
  • 500 g Gruyère cheese (sweet, fruity flavour)
  • 375ml dry white wine  (flavour and creates smooth consistency)
  • 4 tablespoons Kirschwasser (Cherry Liqueur from liquor store, aids in digestion)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (the acidity helps to break down cheese)
  • 1 clove garlic(for flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (helps to bind cheese and liquid together)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (seasoning)
  • white pepper  (seasoning, no salt required)
  • 2 loaves Crusty French bread Baguettes  (allow to dry out a little as fresh bread tends to be too soft, approx. 1/2 a stick per person)
  • fuel for the fondue burner (here's a tip: get our raclette grill The Entertainer with hot stone top and you'll never have to worry about fondue fuel again!)
    1. Cut bread into bite size cubes each with a bit of crust attached and place in basket/bowl.
    2. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half and rub the inside surface of your fondue pot.
    3. After removing any rind roughly dice the two cheeses into small pieces approx. 0.5cm cubes.
    4. Mix cornflour and Kirschwasser together to form a paste.
    5. Heat 3/4 of the wine in your pot on your electric or gas stove until warm but not boiling then add lemon juice and handfuls of the cheese 1/2 cup at a time.
    6. Stir constantly over a medium simmer until the ingredients are melted to a smooth liquid. Add the rest of the wine.
    7. Add the cornflour/kirschwasser paste to the pot and simmer a further 2 mins.
    8. Transfer pot carefully onto fondue burner to keep warm and serve immediately.
    9. Serve with bread pieces. While dipping the bread into the mixture make an 8 form with your skewer as you swirl to keep the mixture smooth. Reduce the intensity of the flame as the mixture reduces.

    Our raclette recipe book also talks about fondue and the big question why cheese fondue is so famous in the English-speaking countries but raclette remained largely unknown - until now!


    Please note: If you like this recipe please also have a look at our raclette recipe book, full of mouth-watering recipes like this one!


    More in this section:

    The Basics
    Serving Raclette
    Original Raclette
    Cheese Fondue
    Raclette Varieties
    Prawns in Sauce
    Salmon Spinach
    Mini Pizzas
    Chicken Kebabs
    Spinach Crepes
    Mozzarella Tomatoes
    Stuffed Mushrooms
    Chicken Risotto
    Pork Wraps
    Apple Crumble
    Crab Mornay
    Fruity Berry Tarts
    Fruit Custard
    Coconut Fish Parcels
    Asparagus Gratin
    Camembert Raclette
    Raclette Recipes

    Our new model is out: The Petite Raclette Grill, a great raclette grill for small raclette parties!

    Get our Raclette Cookbook and enjoy your next raclette party like never before!

    Have a look at our raclette grill models The Petite, The Gourmet or The Entertainer. What a fun way to entertain up to eight dinner guests.