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Swiss cheese fondue can be the food of the (Alpine) Gods, writes Eva King, but you should follow a few basic rules if you want to enjoy the real après-ski experience. Few things are more comforting than a classic Swiss cheese fondue - chunks of crusty bread swirled in bubbling cheese. Reminiscent of dinner parties of days gone by, this retro classic was invented for sharing with friends.
A fondue needs the right cheese. Those mentioned in this recipe are the most popular, but you can use Vacherin or Appenzeller instead of the Emmental. You could also use a French Comté or Beaufort, but don't use Cheddar - it won't give the authentic, stringy texture.
Fondue sets, such as this one by Le Creuset that includes a pot, burner and forks (£61) are available from John Lewis.
It's traditional to dip bread in fondue but you could try lightly blanched broccoli and cauliflower, or crisp celery or chicory.
Try a green salad with your fondue. Other nibbles can include cornichons, silverskin pickled onions and cured meats.
The Italian version of fondue is called fonduta. It is made with Fontina cheese and egg yolks.
White wine is great with fondue, but don't serve it too cold. This can cause the fondue to solidify in the gut, leading to stomach ache.
You could try substituting half the cheese with a blue variety, or adding chopped shallots, green peppercorns or diced ham at the same time as the cheese.
Fondue Bourguignonne is the classic meat fondue that involves lowering cubes of beef into hot oil. Sweet fondues made with chocolate or caramel are delicious with marshmallows or fruit.
This recipe was first published in February 2004.