Fondue never seems to go out of style, especially during the winter. There is nothing like sitting around a roaring fire and dipping chunks of bread into warm, gooey cheese, or strawberries, bananas or marshmallows into rich, dark chocolate.
Cheese fondue was created in Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. Cantons are like states in America, and each canton has its own recipe. All cheese fondues contain at least two varieties of cheeses, wine and flour or cornstarch. The word fondue means “to melt down” and the tradition dates back to the 18th century. The fondue is served from a caquelon, or communal pot. Some believe that fondue came about because people were looking for a way to use stale bread.
Probably the most well-known fondue restaurant on Long Island, is the national franchise known as the Melting Pot. The Farmingdale spot offers a four-course dinner of an appetizer of cheese fondue, a salad, an entrée fondue and a dessert fondue.
Other restaurants that offer fondues on Long Island are XO Restaurant, Wine and Chocolate Lounge in Huntington Village, which serves five dessert fondues: traditional chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate, s’mores, white chocolate raspberry and chocolate cheesecake. Each comes with strawberries, bananas, pound cake, marshmallows, rice crisp treats and pretzel sticks.
Z-Pita Café in Port Jefferson offers a two cheddar cheese blend fondue with Monterey jack, a brie fondue with chopped spinach, fresh basil and ripe vine tomatoes, and a cheese fondue of the evening, along with a chocolate fondue.
Waterzooi Belgian Bistro in Garden City has an incredibly rich brandied lobster, Gouda, gruyere and fontina fondue served with French bread and apples.
The Village Cheese shop in Mattituck is known for their classic cheese fondue, and while you’re there, pick up some cheese to make your own fondue at home.
Here is a classic cheese fondue recipe I make each winter. Serve with Italian or French bread cubes, grapes and hot mulled cider.
Traditional Basic Swiss Cheese Fondue
1 pound Swiss Emmentaler cheese shredded
1 clove garlic, cut in half
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 tablespoons kirsch
Dredge cheese with flour, rub inside of earthenware fondue cooking pot with the garlic. Pour in wine and heat until the wine begins to bubble. Stir in the cheese by the handfuls, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add kirsch and stir. Serves six.