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Classic Cheese Fondue
Norbert Wabnig

Classic Cheese Fondue (4 Servings)

COMMENT:  Since cheese contains fat, and wine is basically water, there is an obvious problem:  water and fat do not mix well.  So what do you do to guarantee a velvety Fondue?  You must use natural and well aged Swiss cheeses that will melt smoothly.   We recommend a combination of our aged Emmenthaler, Gruyere and Appenzeller.  Also, be sure to select a sufficiently dry white wine that will blend successfully with the cheese.  If these basic ingredients are used, you will never be disappointed with a lumpy or stringy fondue.

INGREDIENTS:

1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp Kirsch
2 pounds grated Swiss cheese (Emmenthaler, Gruyere and Appenzeller combined)
1 Tbsp flour
Pepper
Nutmeg
2 loaves crusty Italian or French bread

Dredge cheese with flour.  Cut bread into 1-inch cubes.  Each cube should have crust on one side.

Rub the inside of your 'caquelon' (fondue pot) with cut garlic clove and add wine and Kirsch.  Heat on stovetop over medium flame until wine is hot but not boiling.  Add lemon juice.  Add handfuls of cheese, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until cheese is melted and cheese-wine mixture has the appearance of a light creamy sauce.  Add pepper and nutmeg to taste.  Bring to a boil, then remove the caquelon and place on lit burner on table and enjoy.

TIPS:  To thicken a thin Fondue, add a little bit of cheese dabbed with flour.  Mix well while it is melting.  To lighten a thick fondue, add some lukewarm wine and mix well again.

FUN FONDUE RULES:

One of the most popular Fondue customs is if a lady loses her bread cube in the Fondue she owes the man to her right a kiss.  If a man has such a mishap when dining in a restaurant, he should buy the next round of drinks.  At home, he owes his hostess a kiss!

Another fun Fondue tradition is to leave a thin layer of Fondue at the bottom of the caquelon.  By carefully adjusting the heat, this layer will form into a crust known as "la religieuse" - the religious one.  Lift it out and distribute among your guests.  It is considered a delicacy.

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