Ad: How to do Fondue c/o Fairfield Cheese Company

Stephanie Webster

'Tis the season for eating entertaining with family and friends, but as any host knows all too well, 'tis also the season for endless planning, cooking, and the inevitable mile-high pile of dishes at the end of the evening. What's a holiday host to do?

Fairfield Cheese Company, Fairfield’s source for artisanal and farmstead cheese and fine foods has a savory solution to the dinner party doldrums. A Fondue Party. This simple solution to entertaining allows the host to stay out of the kitchen and in the action where the act of eating becomes the evening’s entertainment.

Whether you go with the traditional Gruyere & Emmentaler or mix it up with a Beer & Chedder Fondue recipe below, Fairfield Cheese Company has everything you need to jumpstart your fun and festive culinary adventure. (Fondue fixins also make for a great holiday gift!) So grab your fondue pot…here’s how to get started … remember, the better quality the cheese, the better the fondue.

Fairfield Cheese Company Fondue Traditional Fondue

Serves 4 main course

(For an interesting variation on this classic Swiss fondue try: Gruyere + Vacherin Frigbourgois (a little stinkier), Hoch Ybrig, or Comte)

  • ½ lb shredded or finely diced Aged Swiss Emmentaler
  • ½ lb shredded or finely diced Cave Aged Gruyere
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1½ cups dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2-3 tbsp Kirsch
nutmeg and/or pepper to taste

Rub ceramic or earthenware fondue pot with cut garlic. Add wine and lemon juice. Over a low to medium burner, slowly add shredded cheese by handfuls, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until cheese is smooth and melted. Bring fondue to a bubble briefly. Add seasoning, stirring until blended. Mix cornstarch and Kirsch together to form paste. Add to fondue and allow to boil for another 30 seconds. If mixture is lumpy or thicker than desired, add small amounts of wine and stir. If it is too thin add more cheese. Serve and keep hot over burner. Dip bread, apples, broccoli, summer sausage, steamed potatoes.

Fairfield Cheese Company’s Beer and Cheddar Fondue

Serves 4 main course

  • 1 ½ cups beer or dark ale
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mild cheddar
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

In a fondue pot over medium heat, heat the beer with the garlic until bubbles appear. Toss the cheese lightly with cornstarch until evenly coated and add a handful at a time. Stirring each time until the cheese is completely melted. Stir in the mustard and keep warm over low heat. Serve with bread cubes, apple slices, sausages and potatoes. Serve cornichons on the side

Fairfield Cheese Company’s American Artisan Fondue

Serves 4 main course

For a truly unique and artisanal fondue, try an "American artisan cheese fondue." Follow the traditional recipe, but substitute in Thistle Hill Tarentaise, and Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese instead of the Emmentaler 
and Gruyere. Tarentaise is a raw cow's milk cheese from VT, Pleasant Ridge Reserve is a raw cow's milk cheese from WI (the 2010 American Cheese Society "best in show").  

Here are a few handy Fondue tips c/o The hard crust left at the bottom of the pot is called “la courte” or “la religuese”, and is considered a delicacy. Pry it out and serve pieces of it to your guests. Avoid mixing water into fondue. If the fondue is too thick, add more dry white wine. If it is too thin, more cornstarch and cheese. Keep the heat as low as possible so the cheese doesn’t become rubbery. Fondue recipes don’t double very well. If you need more fondue, it is best to make it in another pot.