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A bit of bread on a fondue fork trailing melted cheese in a fondue pot
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR /

Instead of mixing kirschwasser into the fondue as many recipes call for, the Swiss (at least some of them) serve it in tiny bowls on the side. You dip a corner of your bread in the kirsch, then dip the bread in the cheese. I also like serving fondue with some sliced ham, olives and cornichons (tiny French dill pickles) on the side. According to Swiss lore, you should drink only tea after eating fondue, or the cheese will form an indigestible mass in your stomach. However, I can assure you, another glass or two of wine or a snifter of brandy is not a problem.

Makes 4 servings

1 pound gruyere, shredded

1 pound emmentaler, shredded

4 tablespoons flour

1 large garlic clove, partially crushed

2 cups dry white wine

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon ground mustard powder

1 baguette


Thoroughly mix cheeses and flour.

Rub garlic clove over inside of large saucepan or fondue pot and discard. Add wine and set over low heat until bubbles begin to rise. (Note: This cannot be hurried.) Gradually add cheese by the handful, stirring after each addition until cheese is melted and you have a smooth, homogenous mixture before adding the next handful. Add pepper and mustard.

There are two schools of thought on the bread: Some like to cut it into cubes and then lightly toast it, while others like to heat the bread and then cube it. I tend to swing toward cubed and lightly toasted because the toasted bread absorbs a bit less kirsch when dipped, and I like the crunch.

Place the bread in a napkin-lined basket. Pour a small measure of kirsch into small cups — espresso cups work well. Dip the bread lightly into kirsch and then swirl in cheese.

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