Fondue may be the best cold-weather dinner ever. When it's snowy and chilly outside and you're inside with a fondue recipe that calls for a hot pot of melted cheese with chunks of bread and boiled potatoes, it's hard not to want winter to stick around a little longer.
In Wisconsin, we're up for fixing a fondue recipe no matter the temperature is outside, and we think our Wisconsin-made fondue can hold its own with any Swiss version. Of course, it helps when you have the best cheese in the world as your ingredients, including award-winning Emmentaler, fontina, and other alpine-style cheeses made right here in America's dairyland. So, next time you're fixing a fondue recipe, make sure you're dipping your bread into melted cheese from Wisconsin.
The classic Swiss fondue recipe includes two cheeses, one for flavor, and one for texture, a bit of kirsch for aroma (the alcohol also lowers the boiling point of the melted cheese) and a bit of garlic for kick. But the fun of fondue is finding a fondue recipe you can call your own. Here are a few of ours – that you're welcome to borrow, steal, and adapt.
Cheese fondue became known as the national dish of Switzerland in the 18th century, though the practice of melting cheese for dipping bread and other ingredients was practiced for centuries before. The word fondue comes from the French word, "fondre", which means to melt, and is often used to refer to other kinds of dishes containing oil or bullion for dipping meat, as well as chocolate for dipping fruit and berries.
Fondue is thought to have originated as a peasant dish in the Canton of Valais in Switzerland, where a fondue recipe can be found as early as the 17th century. In the 1930s, the Swiss Cheese Union campaigned to have fondue declared the national official dish of Switzerland. Americans were first widely exposed to fondue at the 1964 New York World's Fair, after which fondue became a popular dinner party staple.
The best cheese for fondue is any cheese that melts well, and using multiple kinds of cheese adds additional layers of flavor to a fondue recipe. Emmentaler, fontina, comté, and other alpine-style cheeses are naturals to fondue, but cheeses like edam, asiago, gouda, provolone, cheddar, and Monterey Jack are also great possibilities.
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With a fondue recipe, it's really all about the cheese. That pot of creamy, melty goodness is packing all the flavor punch, so it makes sense you'd want to use the tastiest, highest-quality cheese you can lay your hands on. That's why you want Wisconsin cheese.
It's not like us to go around tooting our alpenhorn, but Wisconsin cheesemakers have won more awards than any other state or country in the world – Switzerland included. While the Swiss have one of the only two Master Cheesemakers programs on the planet, Wisconsin has the other one. And when you consider that Wisconsin produces more flavors, styles, and varieties of cheese than anywhere else in the universe, well, that kinda makes us the cheese capital the world.
Think about it: when you're making a fondue recipe and you're hoping for great flavor, don't you want cheese from the cheese capital of the world? We think you do. That's why they call us "the state of cheese." (And "cheeseheads." They call us that too. But we take it as a compliment.)
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.