Picking the right fondue cheese

cheese

Cheese fondue’s name alone should tell you the main ingredient… cheese.  But when deciding which variety to melt and dunk your vittles into, you may wish to know what makes a good fondue cheese. 

Some will say that it is not fondue unless it is lovingly created with Gruyère or Swiss; however, there is no accounting for taste, and now everything from mozzarella to nacho cheese simmers in caquelons all over the world. 

Usually, a cheese with a strong or sharp taste will make the best fondue.  Don’t be afraid of the smell.  This comes with the territory when dealing with sharper cheese.  Those with a flat, less colorless taste will do nothing to enhance the flavor of the food dipped into them.  Appenzeller is a good choice for fondue, as well as sharp Cheddar, Chèvre (a category of goat cheese), Swiss, and of course Gruyère.  There are many more, but this should give you a good idea where to start. 

Quality is also of utmost importance.  Cheap off-brands at the local supermarket will probably not suffice, as the oil content in these cheeses is too high and will make a greasy, runny mess of a fondue.  Fine European brands and styles are usually a safe bet, although American dairies have made great strides in recent years. 

Find cheeses that melt smoothly, because those that do not will have a gritty texture and become stringy.  No one wants to dip a hunk of broccoli in the pot and come out with a band of dirty-textured fondue cheese wrapped around it. 

Regardless of the chosen cheese, be sure to cut it into cubes or small chunks.  This helps it melt evenly.  Also, cut it only when it is nearly ready to be melted.  It will not have a chance to dry out and become harder to manage when freshly cut. 

Remember, fondue is meant to be fun and entertaining to make and serve.  It isn’t supposed to be so difficult that the joy is drained from the evening.  Starting with the cheeses previously mentioned should get you on your way to finding a cheese that not only melts in the caquelon, but melts in your mouth, too.

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One Response to “Picking the right fondue cheese”

  1. The original mixture consists of half Vacherin cheese and half Gruyère but many different combinations have been developed since. Cheese Dairies Wholesale

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