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Fondue

Inspiration

Fondu

Everyone Say CHEESE!
Nov 2022
3 min.

Most of us have experienced a failed fondu at some time when the mixture takes on an elastic rubbery mass! The fondu season is just around the corner, – although there isn’t really a season to enjoy a fondu – we set off in search of the secret to producing the perfect mix; creamy and homogenous, which I bet is already making your mouth water!

Let’s begin with a short anthology of the questions people usually ask.

Two, three or five different cheeses? In what proportions? Should you add garlic? cornflower? Kirsch? What kind of white wine? Does champagne make it lighter? And what about the bread? Bread choice is important if you don’t want to lose it and end up doing a forfeit – most likely a silly one – and, by the way, is it Swiss or Savoyard? Plenty of lively debates that will no doubt end up, sooner or later, being discussed around a tasty fondu!

We all agree that the recipe includes one or more cheeses and a little white wine, and it’s eaten with chunks of bread dipped into the gooey delight. Or so we thought! Then we discovered that some people would add… Camembert! Or wouldn’t dip bread chunks but… potato!

Fondu time

© Monica Dalmasso / Fondu time

Marc Dubouloz

To be absolutely certain, we approached Marc Dubouloz, (Crèmerie des Marchés), a third-generation cheesemaker who trained under his father Jacques, awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2004. This Annecy institution whom, as their name suggests, since 1950 trades at the city’s markets and also has two shops; in Poisy and Annecy-le-Vieux.

 

Crèmerie des Marchés

Marc Dubouloz de la Crèmerie des Marchés

© Crèmerie des Marchés / Marc Dubouloz

The produce! The produce! The produce! That’s the only important rule for a good fondu.

“In our home, we have always made an excellent fondu with only Comté cheese,” explains Marc Dubouloz. “At the cheese factory (Crèmerie des Marchés) for our customers we produce a combination of Comté and Beaufort cheese selected from the summer-grazed milk production, which we have matured beforehand. Upon request, we do recommend adding a little Morbier cheese, which adds lightness, creaminess, and a subtle note of walnut. Next there really aren’t any rules.

You can customise the fondu according to your own tastes: Abondance, Beaufort, Emmental, Vacherin from Fribourg, and Swiss Gruyere (half and half for the Swiss fondu). The Beaufort brings character, the Emmental gives a smooth flow, and Abondance makes it creamy. You can also use diverse liquids and make the fondu with white wine, sparkling white wine, champagne, or white beer (for a less alcoholic taste), apple juice (gives a slightly sweet, honeyed flavour), or even water, like they use in a Fribourg fondu made with 100% Fribourg Vacherin cheese.

Fondu

© Françoise Cavazzana / Fondu

Marc Dubouloz’s Top Tips

“Never put all the wine in one go at the start to avoid drowning the fondu. It’s best to add it as the cheese is melting, and this gauges the amount correctly. Use a cast iron fondu pot as it distributes the heat much better and melt the cheese on a low heat. Choose good bread with a thick crust. Personally, I don’t rub garlic inside my pot, I prefer grating a little nutmeg onto my plate to dip the melted cheese into it. Smoked tea is a perfect accompaniment to fondu.”

To your fondu sets! We declare the fondu season “officially” open!

Did you know?

In Switzerland and Savoie it’s customary to call the golden crusty cheese rind that forms at the bottom of the fondu pot “religious”. Here too, the explanations differ to where this name comes from…

Copyright:

  • © Françoise Cavazzana

Journalist: Aude Pollet-Thiollier

Translation: Catherine Desmurs