Classic Swiss Fondue

swiss fondue
The garlicky pesto is a perfect match for sweet, silky scallops. See the Classic Swiss Fondue RecipeChristopher Hirsheimer

This fabled dish is said to have been invented in the Swiss canton of Zurich during a 16th-century siege, when meals had to be improvised from available ingredients.

Classic Swiss Fondue
There's just something about melting cheese that turns it from good to sublime.
Yield: serves 4


  • 1 loaf country bread
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 14 cups dry white wine (preferably Swiss fendant)
  • 1 lb. (about 3 cups) gruyere cheese, chopped
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. kirsch
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Tear country bread into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  2. Rub interior of a medium stainless-steel pot with garlic clove, then discard garlic. Add white wine and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add gruyere cheese and nutmeg. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until cheese melts (cheese and wine will not yet be blended).
  3. Combine cornstarch with kirsch in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and stir into cheese mixture. Continue to stir and simmer until cheese mixture becomes smooth, about 5 minutes, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding up to ¼ cup more wine if fondue is too thick.
  4. To serve, transfer to a fondue pot or chafing dish set over a flame. To eat, spear bread pieces with fondue forks and dip in cheese, continuing to stir with forks as you dip.