Cheese Fondue with Sauvignon Blanc, Swiss, and Gruyere

I was always intrigued by the idea of making cheese fondue but I never worked up the momentum until I saw an absolutely gorgeous photo of fondue and all its accompaniments on Heather Baird’s SprinkleBakes. I went online and bought a fondue pot that very day and waited impatiently for the fondue pot to arrive at my doorstep. Her recipe did not disappoint. She combines beautiful melty swiss, just a whisper of garlic, mustard powder for a little kick, and sauvignon blanc. I decided to trust Heather and go with the sauvignon blanc, and, of course, she was right, the fruity light flavor of Sav blanc went perfectly with the cheesiness of the fondue. As for what to serve alongside this tasty dip, I threw in everything I could think of. Filet tips, roasted fingerling potatoes, veggies, cubes of toasted bread, apple slices. If anyone has any other dipper suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Fondue evokes images of snowshoeing amongst the frosted pines and sitting beside a crackling fireplace but I did a bit of research into the origins of fondue, because I’m a history graduate and that’s simply the kind of thing that I do, and I found that fondue has far more humble beginnings. I discovered that the origins of fondue can be traced back to 18th century Switzerland where families who subsisted on farming had limited fresh produce during the winter months, and thus, utilized fondue to make use of stale bread and cheese. Through my extensive research, I also found that fondue was mentioned in Homer’s Iliad which dates from approximately 800-725 BCE. Now, I took several Ancient Greek history and literature courses and I would like to know why my professors neglected to reference this vital fact. Though, to be fair, I’ve read through the Iliadtwice and I don’t remember remarking upon the existence of fondue either. Nonetheless, it’s there alright- the Iliad mentions a mixture of goat cheese, wine, and flour, which I’m sure would pale in comparison to this luscious fondue recipe which is filled with Swiss cheese, mustard powder for a little kick, and a myriad of ‘dippers’ to gather up all that delicious, melty cheese. If, by chance, anyone else happens to be a history nerd, there’s a great article on the ‘mysterious’ origins of fondue on the BBC: (https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20130212-tracing-fondues-mysterious-origins). 

Cheese Fondue with Sauvignon Blanc, Swiss, and Gruyere

Serves 4

Adapted from Heather Baird’s https://www.sprinklebakes.com (check out her website, it’s amazing!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
  • 1 ½ cups sauvignon blanc wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ lb. Swiss cheese, coarsely grated
  • ½ lb. Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder

Dippers:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Carrots and Celery, sliced in 2-inch pieces
  • Apples, cored and sliced
  • Fingerling potatoes, (halved, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted in a 400-degree oven until tender)
  • Toasted bread cubes (cube bread and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, bake in a 350-degree oven until toasted)
  • Filet tips, (sauteed in a non-stick frying pan until just cooked through)
  • Anything else you can possibly think of

Directions:

  1. Prepare dippers before setting up the fondue pot.
  2. Set up Fondue pot according to manufacturer’s instructions. Rub the interior of the pot with the cut sides of the garlic. Pour the wine into the pot and bring to a simmer. (I set my fondue pot to a 3 to simmer the wine.) 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Meanwhile, add the grated cheese to the fondue pot. Using a wooden spoon, stir in a figure-8 motion to allow the cheese to melt properly. Cook until the cheese is melted. Stir in the mustard powder then stir in the cornstarch mixture. Allow to simmer for 2-4 minutes until the cheese thickens slightly. Dig in!

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