How To Make The Perfect Swiss Cheese Fondue

If you want to make your perfect cheese fondue, you obviously need to be using proper Swiss cheese!

All you need to know to make the perfect cheese fondue:

  • What cheese should I use for a fondue?
  • What does AOP mean with cheese?
  • The recipe for a perfect fondue
  • How do you make a luxury cheese fondue?
  • What do you do if a fondue curdles?
  • What sort of bread should I use for my cheese fondue?
  • What should you drink with a fondue?
  • What is the ‘Grandmother’?
  • Where to have a fondue in Zermatt?
  • Fondue in a gondola?
How to make the perfect Swiss fondue

What cheese should I use for a fondue?

You can use any cheese that will melt, but our perfect combination is a 50/50 mix of Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP and Le Gruyère AOP.

Vacherin Fribourgeois is full of the flavours of the high mountain around Freiburg. It is subtle and sophisticated and gives a thick, creamy and fragrant taste to your fondue. It’s matured for 9-12 weeks until it reaches its peak.

Gruyere is a small town in the Freiburg region. Standards are so high that one 35kg ‘wheel’ of this cheese requires 400 litres of fresh, unpasteurised milk. The cows consume nothing other than grass or hay.

Le Gruyère AOP cheese
Gruyere cheese

That’s all very well, but what does AOP mean?

Good question. AOP stands for ‘Appellation d’Origine Protégée’, or translated into English as ‘Protected Designation of Origin’. It means that products with the AOP mark are all produced, processed and refined in a defined region.

It means you can confident that you know your cheese has been locally produced, based on traditional methods, and is not mass-produced.

Recipe for a perfect fondue

Once you have your cheese, make sure you have all the other ingredients for your fondue. This list below serves four.

600g white bread
1 clove of garlic, cut in half
400g Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP
400g Gruyère AOP
300ml white wine
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp kirsch
1 pinch of nutmeg and pepper

Start by cutting the bread into bite-size pieces. Rub the fondue pot with garlic. Grate the cheese directly into your fondue pot.

Mix the wine into the cornflour and pour onto the cheese, stirring continuously over a low heat. Add the kirsch and season to taste.

The perfect Swiss fondue
The perfect Swiss fondue

The luxury cheese fondue option

To upgrade your fondue, try adding shallots, black truffle and dried porcini mushrooms and saute them first in the pot over a medium heat.

You can also replace the white wine with dry champagne. Finally, once the cheese has fully melted, add two sprigs of thyme, with cognac to taste!

What if the fondue curdles?

Don’t panic! Simply add a teaspoon of cornflour with a little white wine and lemon juice and slowly bring back to the boil while stirring. That should hopefully get it back on track.

What sort of bread should I use for my fondue?

We recommend fresh white bread (only the French use stale old dry bread!). Cut the bread so that each piece has at least some crust, otherwise it can be hard to keep it on your fork. And according to tradition, if you drop your bread in the fondue, then you have to buy everyone a drink!

Bread for a cheese fondue

What should you drink with a fondue?

A kirsch or schnapps is the perfect accompaniment to a fondue. If you prefer wine, then go for a dry white wine, perhaps a Chasselas or Fendant. It’s fine to choose a different wine from the one you added to the fondue itself.

Optional Fondue Extras

Some people like to dip pickled vegetables or potatoes into their fondue instead of bread.

Action from the World Fondue Championships

Don’t forget ‘The Grandmother’

It’s important to keep stirring the cheese while you’re eating your fondue. However well you do stir, there will always be a crust of cheese at the bottom of the pot at the end of your meal.

This is sometimes known as the ‘Religeuse’ (nun) or ‘Grossmutter’ (grandmother) and is considered a delicacy among fondue aficionados.

Fondue in a gondola?

If you really want a unique experience, you could even have your fondue in a gondola cabin!

Zermatt offers this on a return journey to Trocknersteg and includes a starter course, your Swiss cheese fondue, dessert and Valaisian wine.

fondue gondola zermatt
Enjoy a fondue on a gonola

Where to have a fondue in Zermatt?

If you don’t want to make your own, there are plenty of places to enjoy a fondue in Zermatt.

If you are staying in one of our serviced chalets, we can buy all the ingredients and set this up for you via our concierge service. Perhaps even more importantly we will clear and wash up for you!

If you want to eat out, this is also something we can arrange for you with our concierge service.

Chalet Ulysse

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