While it may seem incredibly easy to throw a bunch of cheese into a pot and melt it, crafting a super-creamy fondue takes a little skill. In the February issue of Vogue, Jeffrey Steingarten acknowledges that the perfect fondue is hard to find. He said:
Fondues as smooth and suave as this are rare; more often the cheese separates and settles on the bottom of the pan in stringy clumps and lonely curds whose flavor is as fine as the cheese they're made from, but that congeal in the mouth into tough and chewy balls not unlike chaws of bubble gum.
No one would want to serve a chunky fondue like the one Steingarten describes. To ensure that you never make a bad fondue again, check out my tips for creating silky fondue, just
- Use the best-quality cheese you can afford. When making the classic Swiss version, use gruyere instead of emmentalar. Avoid using low-fat cheeses as they don't melt well.
- Similar to a vinaigrette, fondue is an emulsion of melted cheese and wine, so keep that in mind when you are whisking the two ingredients together.
- Use a dry white wine and add a little fresh lemon juice to provide acidity.
- Cook over a low temperature and never let the fondue boil.
- Before using a new fondue pot, break it in by boiling a mixture of half water, half milk for 15 minutes.
- Never add all of the cheese at once to the pot. Add the cheese by the handful, stirring between additions to ensure a smooth, melted texture.
- When setting up fondue, place in a part of the table that is accessible as you don't want guests reaching to get to the fondue. Place pots on different tables to ensure that everyone isn't crowded around one table.
Got a great tip for making fondue? Please share with us below!