Bon Appetit: Switzerland

Did you know Switzerland has four official languages? German, French, Italian, and Romansh. So, we’ll go with Bon Appetit for the title.

I visited Switzerland in high school when I went on a five-country-in-ten-days whirlwind trip. It was a wonderful trip and was my first taste of international traveling. What stands out to me about our quick stop in Switzerland was the astonishing views of the Swiss alps, chocolate, and CHEESE FONDUE. That is capitalized because it’s pretty much my favorite thing in the world. I adore cheese, and a whole pot of bubbling, melty cheese? What could be better?

Fondue is a Swiss national dish, and is now a symbol of Swiss unity. I love unity. Here’s a wikipedia link if you want to read more about fondue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fondue

I’ve made this cheese fondue recipe for a variety of events in the past, and I just adore it. Here’s the recipe, via Tyler Florence.

1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded

1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Pinch nutmeg

Assorted dippers

Directions

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.

Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.

Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods on a lazy Susan around fondue pot. Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads. Some other suggestions are Granny Smith apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!

Here are the ingredients.

You will notice that there are two blocks of Swiss cheese. My neighborhood market was out of Gruyere, so I used all Swiss this time. I recommend tracking down Gruyere, it really adds a special flavor.

Also, the recipe calls for Kirsch, which is cherry-flavored brandy. If you don’t have any, you can just leave it out, but it adds a nice fruity note. I’ve made many fondues from this bottle, and will make many more.

Isn’t this bread pretty? I love pretty bread.

I have a “regular” fondue pot, and this fancy electric one because I often make both cheese and chocolate fondue for events. It’s easier to regulate the temperature with this electric fondue pot.

Grate the cheese and add cornstarch to it. The cornstarch makes it easier to make a smooth and stable emulsion of the wine and cheese (thanks, wikipedia!).

Rub the garlic clove around the hot fondue pot, which kind of melts the garlic.

Add wine and lemon juice, which smells amazing.

Slowly stir in the cheese in small amounts so it melts evenly.

When it looks like this, smile big and add the flavorings.

Serve with chunks of crusty bread.

Use fondue forks, dip, twirl, and savor!

I brought the fondue to a tv show finale party with friends, which included cocktail attire 🙂

L to R: Rae, Stephen, Emily, Lisa, Carol, Katie, Mike. [Alfie is front and center)

L to R: PJ, Malone, Kelsey, Angela, Rae

Love my friends, and love cheese fondue!

About couchcuisine

I like traveling, cooking and eating...especially with friends.
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3 Responses to Bon Appetit: Switzerland

  1. Dd- says:

    You always were “The Cheezey One”

  2. couchcuisine says:

    Indeed! At least I’m consistent 🙂

  3. DaD says:

    Here’s to unity, smooth fondues, finally some Wikipedia Props, a beautiful picture of an actual lemon Drop, and of course pretty bread. Cook On Girl-

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