Cheese expert Marissa Mullen shares a technique straight from the Alps après-ski.
On a recent trip to Europe, I had the opportunity to explore the scenic landscape of the French Alps, and, naturally, the first order of business was digging into the region’s cheeses. During this visit, I met a local culinary expert, Laurent, who insisted on a fondue lesson—French fondue, specifically. Prior to this, I’ve always made fondue the Swiss way, adding Kirsch, made from distilled sour cherries, and white wine.
However, I learned that each fondue recipe in France is distinctly tailored to the local wine and cheese in that region. Laurent omitted the Kirsch completely from this recipe and used a white wine from the Savoie region, where we stayed. Instead of rubbing the pot with garlic, he added a minced clove straight into the melted cheese. This resulted in an irresistible blend of rich flavors and textures, with nutty notes from a local Beaufort and earthy flavors from the Tomme de Savoie. Once I returned to the United States, I was inspired to re-create the recipe for the colder winter months in New York.
For this recipe, I used three of my favorite French melting cheeses: Beaufort PDO, a young Comté PDO, and Emmental. For a white wine, I recommend a French varietal from the Jura region, the birthplace of Comté PDO. Following the adage “what grows together goes together,” these choices ensure a seamless flavor experience. I also incorporated Laurent’s garlic trick to pack in some extra flavor. This fondue embodies the essence of the French Alps, and each bite brings back memories of their snowy peaks, warm fires, and cozy chalets.
RECIPE: Fondue the French Way
About Fromage From Europe | Cheeses of France
The Fromage from Europe Marketing Council is composed of French dairy farmers and cheese firms. It is led by The French Dairy Inter-Branch Organization (CNIEL) and by The French Goat Milk Producers and Processors Association (ANICAP). The Council’s mission is to create awareness about the variety of European and French cheese available on the US market and the multiple ways that American consumers can incorporate them into their diets, their recipes and their lifestyles.
The council develops national and regional programs to build awareness and demand for European and French cheese throughout the United States and the world. Their goal is to create an appealing impression of imported Fromage from Europe that sets them apart as a unique group and strengthens their competitive position in the growing specialty cheese category.
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