Chilly days call for cozy comfort dishes like piping hot cheese fondue. The tradition of serving a pot of melted cheese with dipping breads has its roots in Switzerland and is found in recipe books as far back as 1699.
In the 1930s, the Swiss Cheese Union promoted fondue as a Swiss national dish. It went on to become a popular party food in North America in the 1960s and 1960s. Today there are countless variations on the traditional combination of cheese, wine, and bread. And as the variety of kosher cheeses increases on the market, consumers have greater room for creativity in the kitchen. I recently made an impromptu kosher cheese fondue with no fondue pot or skewers–just an average saucepan, a whisk, and a couple of chopsticks from Chinese take-out. While my equipment was humble, my cheese selection was anything but. From Pomegranate, I had purchased four premium melting cheeses which seem to have been created with fondue in mind: Emmenthaler, Le Brouere, Raclette, and Lomont.
Each of these cheeses has its own character and unique melting style. Le Brouere, Lomont, and Raclette all hail from the French mountains that border Switzerland and Germany. Le Brouere is made in Lorraine in the French Vosges mountains; Lomont comes from le Jura in France; and both Raclette and Emmenthal are at home in the French and Swiss Alps. While Le Brouere and Emmenthal impart a sweet nuttiness to the fondue, Lomont and Raclette contribute herbaceous, earthy notes and savory aromas of mustard and pungent spice.
A typical fondue recipe calls for one or more of hearty melting cheeses, white wine, flour or corn starch, and spices.
I simply cubed equal parts of each cheese and then gradually added them to a whisked mixture of butter, flour, and white wine, over low heat.
Once it is melted, the cheese fondue is ready to eat! It is served in a small communal “cauldron” that is usually kept warm over a burner. As I didn’t have a proper fondue pot, I just made do with chopsticks and the pot the fondue was cooked in.
Fondue is traditionally served with cubes of stale bread for dipping, but it is also tasty with crudites and even pears and apples. To read more about the kosher cheeses used to make this mountain delicacy, visit my fondue page at http://www.kcheese.com/Fondue.htm. The cheeses used in this fondue are all cholov yisroel.