When served authentically, cheese fondue is placed on the table in a ceramic or earthenware pot, called a caquelon in Switzerland.The glazed, heatproof material that composes the pot slowly absorbs the heat and gently transfers it to the cheese.
A pot with a polished bottom that you can set it directly on the stove is best. Make sure the bottom of the pot has the same diameter as the burner on your stove. Otherwise the pot may crack. If necessary, you can also prepare cheese fondue in a regular saucepan or meat fondue pot. Take care not to let it get too hot or the cheese will stick.
In order to keep the cheese from forming clumps while it’s melting, always stir it with a spoon in a figure-eight pattern.
Fondue, has the best consistency when the cheese mixture is smooth and creamy, and softly coats the bread without dripping too much. The fondue should always be bubbling gently on the heat source, but should never get too hot. To keep the fondue creamy right down to the last bite, stir the fondue throughout the meal. Even when you’re eating, stir the bread or vegetables around vigorously in the cheese in a figure-eight pattern and rotate your wrist slightly as you lift it out.
Cheese fondue is only as good as the cheese you put in it—so always choose the best. For better melting, choose unsliced cheese and cut it into cubes or shred it. Semi-hard and hard cheese with a fat content of 45% or more is especially good for melting. Good choices include:
The younger the cheese, the milder the flavor of the fondue will be. The older the cheese, the richer the flavor and creamier the texture the fondue will be. You can mix up to 3 varieties of cheeses, which have been aged for different lengths of time for a fondue.
To prepare a traditional cheese fondue, you should use a high-quality, dry white wine. This is one of the major elements contributing to the success of your fondue. The wine’s natural acidity makes the cheese smooth and creamy and keeps it from becoming runny. Therefore, young wine is best; very old wine generally isn’t acidic enough.
Good bread choices for fondue are virtually limitless. Any type can be used, from fluffy, white bread to heavy, whole-grain bread. A creative way to present cheese fondue is with a variety of fresh, crusty white bread and multi-grain bread with nuts and spices.