In celebration of National Cheese Fondue Day, April 11, here’s a basic fondue method that works beautifully with almost any combination of firm cheeses. There are lots of candidates for fondue in Massachusetts, and there’s no reason to limit yourself to a particular style. While an Alpine-style cheese will give you the most traditional flavor and texture, experiment with some other favorites for variation – as long as you use something firm as a “base” to give you the right fondue texture, you can’t go wrong!
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 cup white wine (dry wines work best, but use your favorite)
1 pound of cheese, grated or diced (Note: use at least two different cheeses – some good choices are Robinson Farm‘s Prescott, A Barndance or Robinson Family Swiss; Cricket Creek‘s Maggie’s Round, Couet Farm’s Karolina, or Chase Hill Farm‘s Herdsman. Add 4 oz of another favorite for extra flavor – perhaps a few Shy Brothers Farm®’s Hannahbells, Cricket Creek’s Tobasi, a goat cheese from Westfield Farm, some pungent Prufrock from The Grey Barn and Farm, or even some Great Hill Blue! )
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt/pepper to taste
Grate the cheese and toss in a large bowl with the cornstarch. Set aside.
Rub the inside of a double boiler (or a medium-sized metal bowl over a pan of water) with the garlic halves and heat over medium-high heat on a stovetop. Add the wine and heat until simmering. Reduce heat to medium low and add cheese/cornstarch mixture one handful at a time, stirring until melted. Make sure to keep the mixture just below a simmer to maintain texture. Stir in lemon juice, stirring until fully incorporated.
Serve immediately in a fondue pot or a heatproof bowl, with cubed bread and lightly steamed vegetables. If your fondue begins to thicken too much, add another splash of wine and stir.