We all love the classic Gruyère fondue and since we come from Neuchâtel in Swiss Romandie, we also love the Fondue Moitié Moitié which is a blend of Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois. However, sometimes we want a change from the ordinary – especially if you are a fondue lover who enjoys it more than once per month!
Here we are not focusing only on Swiss cheeses but included some honorable mentions for international cheeses for an interesting twist on tradition.
Raclette is a natural fit for fondue! A perfect cheese for melting, ultra-smooth and creamy but in addition, it has a nice pungent aroma and taste that fondue needs to stand up to the dry white wine and raw garlic that is rubbed along the inside of the pot. We recommend a combination of half raclette and half Emmentaler (or if you simply cannot resist adding a classic, Gruyère is divine when mixed with raclette! We won’t tell!)
Comté is a specialty of the Franche-Comté region of Eastern France which borders Western Switzerland. Historically it was called Gruyère de Comté and it was considered a close relative to Switzerland’s Gruyère cheese. There are similarities in which these two great cheeses are produced (eg, raw milk, the curd is cooked in copper vats, pressed, washed, etc). but there are nuances in their production that allow a different aroma and taste profile. We challenge you to try Comté in your next fondue and let us know how it compares to Gruyère.
Gorgonzola is only produced in the Piedmont and Lombardy regions of northern Italy. Gorgonzola Dolce is the softer and sweeter version of the sharper, firmer Gorgonzola Naturale (also called Piccante, di monti, stagionato, etc.). For fondue, we recommend trying Gorgonzola Dolce which is smooth and creamy often buttery which is perfect for melting into a sweet or semi-dry white wine (rather than the dry white wine typically used for making fondue). Serve with apples, pears, grapes – and of course, pass the crusty bread!
Tomme de Chèvre
While there are many different varieties and house specialties, there is no doubt that Tomme de Chèvre would make an outstanding fondue given its creamy texture – quite possibly a pricy fondue, but definitely delicious! Just be sure to remove the delicate crust before adding to the pot. We recommend a drizzle of honey, freshly cracked pepper, and a sprig of fresh thyme! Enjoy!
Gouda originated in The Netherlands but since the name was not protected it refers to a class of cheeses made in the traditional Dutch method. Depending on the age of the cheese, it can be soft, creamy, slightly sweet and nutty with notes of caramel coming through with longer maturation. Gouda melts beautifully and is a perfect choice for a non-traditional fondue. A younger Gouda has more moisture and will melt easily but you can blend it with a more aged Gouda for a complex taste. Of course, Gouda also dances nicely with Gruyère for those fondue purists (including me!)
Interestingly, on our cheese-finding travels, we were lucky to find an award-winning Swiss-made Gouda. The Urnäscher Berggouda produced by Urnäscher Käse located in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. Their Urnäscher Berggouda Mild and Urnäscher Berggouda Rezent won the silver and bronze medals at the World Cheese Awards 2021 in Oviedo, Spain! We are pleased to feature their cheese in our Box Club for April 2022.
We hope that we have sparked your imagination and encouraged you to explore fondue outside the classic Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois. Let us know if you give one of these selections a try!