Saturday, we kicked off a new season of cooking demonstrations in the Market Street Stage  with a Fondue workshop. We demonstrated (and tasted) four different types of Fondue including broth-based Fondue Chinoise, a Canadian Oka, Cheddar & Beer Fondue and Chocolate Rum Fondue with fresh fruit. And all made from ingredients purchased in the St. Lawrence Market.

Hands-down, everyone’s favourite was the Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue – a heady combination of Emmenthaler and Gruyère cheeses that we got from the guys at Chris’ Cheesemongers, melted with Peller Estates Private Reserve Dry Riesling from Wine Country Merchants. (This is also a good wine to drink with the fondue, so stick to the ‘what’s in the pot is in the glass’ rule, and spend a little more than you normally might on cooking wine – it’s worth it with such good cheese). Crusty cubes of French baguette from Carousel Bakery were perfect for dunking into this rich, cheesy treat. If you, like most of the people in our workshop, have never made a real cheese fondue before – give it a try. It’s so easy – and takes no time at all to prepare – you just have to cut up some bread, grate the cheese then melt it. It’s delicious (and surprisingly filling!)

Makes 4 to 6 servings

The main ingredient for a classis Swiss fondue is well-aged Emmenthaler and/or Gruyère cheese.
Emmenthaler makes a fondue of the mildest flavour; half & half is stronger and Gruyere alone is the strongest. Often a third cheese, such as Appenzeller or Fribourg Vacherin, is also used. Adjust amounts to 2/3 lbs (350 g) per each of the three cheeses.

Eau-de-vie: Kirsch (cherry eau-de-vie) is the most traditional flavouring, but plum eau-de-vie, such as Slivovitz, is also recommended. These are available from the LCBO.

1 clove garlic
2 cups dry white wine
1 lb (500 g) Emmenthal cheese, shredded
1 lb (500 g) Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp kirsch or other eau de vie
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 baguettes or other crusty bread, cut in 1-inch cubes

Rub garlic clove all over inside of fondue pot. Pour in all but 2 tbsp of the wine; bring to simmer over medium heat on stove top.

Add cheeses and stir with wooden spoon until melted. Dissolve cornstarch in remaining wine; stir into fondue pot along with nutmeg. Bring to simmer, stirring; simmer for 1 minute. Stir in kirsch and lemon juice.

Place over medium-low heat of fondue burner on table, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain low simmer and stirring often. Serve with bread to skewer and dip into cheese mixture.

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