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Cheese Fondue

kaasfondue click to hear 2
[Gruyère and (Swiss) Emmenthaler]
The Cheeses: Gruyère and (Swiss) Emmenthaler
[Slicer and Big Slices]
Slicer and Big Slices
[Dice Cheese]
Dice Cheese
[Rubbing Pan with Garlic]
Rubbing Pan with Garlic
[Slicing and Cutting Bread]
Slicing and Cutting Bread
[Fruits Side Dishes]
Fruits Side Dishes
[(handwritten German:) Auf mittlerem Feuer den Käse,
    zusammen mit dem Wein, zum Kochen bringen. Dabei
    aber ständig langsam umrühren, in der gleichen
    Richtung.] As a child I visited Switzerland with my parents and siblings. A Swiss friend of my father's wrote down his recipe for Cheese Fondue. Most other recipes have you bring wine to a slow boil first, and then add cheese; this recipe says to add the cheese to the cold wine, and then start the heating. I think it indeed tastes better.
[A Cheese Fondue Table]
A Cheese Fondue Table
[A Cheese Fondue Plate]
A Cheese Fondue Plate
  • Cheese: half Swiss Emmenthaler, half Gruyère
  • Dry white wine
    (I prefer Kendall-Jackson Riesling)
  • (sour dough) baguettes
  • one or two cloves garlic
  • Kirschwasser
  • corn starch
  • pepper, nutmeg
# to feed cheese wine baguettes Kirsch corn starch
3 550 g / 1¼ Lb 400 ml / 14 oz. 2 30 ml / 1 oz. (2 TBsp.) 4 tsp
4 750 g / 26 oz.
(1Lb 10 oz.)
550 ml / 19 oz.
(2 cups 3 oz.)
3 30 ml / 1 oz. (2 TBsp.) 4 tsp
6 900 g / 2 Lb 650 ml / 3 cups 4 45 ml / 1½ oz. (3 TBsp.) 2 TBsp

Keep in mind that the pieces of cheese you buy probably have rinds, subtract 10-20% of the stated store weight.
A regular bottle of wine is 750 ml.

Optional Side Dishes:

  • mushrooms (for dipping)
  • fruits like kiwis, pears (Doyenne de Comice), and mangoes
  • lettuce (with nuts, avocado, tomatoes)
  • cucumber, bell peppers
The fondue itself cooks in about ten minutes and needs your undivided attention: so lay the table, set up burner, arrange flowers and prepare side dishes beforehand (or ask a helper.)
  1. Slice bread in about ½-inch (1½ cm) pieces, then cut those pieces in two;
  2. Cut off rind from cheeses, then cut big slices, weigh to needed amount;
    (the 'big slices' are about ¼ inch, ½ cm)
  3. Dice the big slices of cheese;
    (most recipees say not to use grated cheese)
  4. Put Kirsch in small glass, add corn starch, stir till dissolved;
  5. Peel one or two cloves garlic, cut through, and vigorously rub the fondue pan with it;
  6. Pour wine in pan, add cheese, and right away put on fairly high fire, stir in circles, slowly but continuously and always in the same direction; keep stirring, don't stop stirring!
  7. It takes about ten minutes for the cheese to melt and dissolve; when you lift your stirring spoon the cheese should drip off: if it forms strings it's not yet hot enough;
  8. Add cornstarch/Kirsch solution and keep stirring;
  9. Grind some pepper and grate a little nutmeg over the fondue, keep stirring;
  10. Turn on tabletop burner and move fondue pan to it, try to keep fondue at a slow bubble;
  11. During your dinner the fondue may thicken, probably after about ten minutes and maybe again later: put it back on the stove for a few minutes, add a small amount of wine (2 oz / 50 ml, preheated in microwave) and stir well.
[mix diced cheese with cold wine, start heating]
mix diced cheese with cold wine, start heating

[halfway: cheese is partly melted/dissolved]
halfway: cheese is partly melted/dissolved

[ready: all cheese melted/dissolved]
ready: all cheese melted/dissolved

[Cheese Fondue Fork, Regular Fork]
Cheese Fondue Fork, Regular Fork
[Putting Bread on Cheese Fondue Fork]
Putting Bread on Cheese Fondue Fork
[Now Dip In and Stir]
Now Dip In and Stir
[Dipped In]
Dipped In
[Slide from Fondue Fork with Regular Fork]
Slide from Fondue Fork with Regular Fork
[Have A Cup of Tea]
And Have A Cup of Tea

Stick a piece of bread on a fondue fork and dip it in deeply, to the bottom, and stir the fondue with a circular motion, to keep it from burning.
Back on your plate, slide the cheese-covered piece of bread from your fondue fork with your regular fork, for hygiene and safety. Fondue forks have sharp points.
Mushrooms also dip well in fondue.
If the fondue does not drip from the bread but pulls strings from the pan it means the temperature is too low. You might put the pan back on the stove for a few minutes, stirring well.
Have a cup of tea with your cheese fondue.

The stand I made keeps the fondue pan from sliding off the electric burner.

hear - (2)
cheese fondue
[stick-bread] baguette
fondue fork
(a Dutch cheese)

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email - Copyright © Marco Schuffelen 2007. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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