How to Make the Ultimate Fondue at Home
There are many titles you can add to the end of Adam Moskowitz's name: Cheesemonger Invitational founder, Cheese Forklifter and Prince of Cheese are just a few. And as the owner of one of the country's largest cheese importers with three generations of family experience under his belt, you can bet he knows his stuff. That's why we're asking him to reveal the secrets to making cheese in its purest form: a bubbling, melty pot of fondue. Read on for the expert's tips on making this crowd-pleaser even better than the dip you remember from the 70s.
① There's More than Just Swiss Cheese
Swiss might be the go-to classic, but Moskowitz favors curating your own custom blend of up to three varieties. Choose a cheese with a high moisture content for a silky texture and a funkier label to provide the flavor, rounded out by a third pick for a complementary background note. Or you can do what the Prince of Cheese does and highlight just one "killer cheese" in your fondue: For him, that would be Challerhocker. "If you like how the cheeses taste together at the cheese counter, you'll like how they taste melted together at home," he advises. So tap into the knowledge of your local cheesemonger.
② You Can't Live on Just Bread Alone
Tearing up a baguette and calling it a day? "Please, do more," Moskowitz jokes. Expand the dipping options with a spread of roast vegetables (Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are his favorites), sliced charcuterie and even fried potatoes, which provide a contrasting crunch and a surface for melted cheese to cling to. Meanwhile, pickled or fresh vegetables can help cut through the richness of all that cheese.
③ Switch Up the Booze Options
We're not just talking about what you're pouring in your beer pint or wineglass to drink alongside. Aside from traditional white wine, beer and Champagne can also be used in the fondue base itself. And since most recipes call for just around a cup of booze, be sure to choose a bottle you wouldn't mind finishing later during dinner. "In general, look for dry beverages that have good acidity and minerality," Moskowitz recommends. (Need help deciding? Come to our fondue party, where a sommelier will guide you through some of our favorite cheese-friendly wines.)
④ Keep It Stress Free
Ultimately, crowding over a bubbling cauldron of cheese is best enjoyed in a laid-back, casual setting, which Moskowitz lovingly likens to the culinary rendition of "Stairway to Heaven." "Even if you don't want to hear it, you sing along and love every minute of it," he says. You don't need an actual fondue pot either: A nonstick pan works just fine.
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