The cheese fondue is widely known as the fondue savoyarde in the French Alps, and is also found in the Swiss Alps as well as in the northeastern part of the Italian Alps. Prepared with varied types of Alpine cheeses like Comté, Beaufort or Emmental, the traditional Savoy fondue recipe lies in a perfect combination of cheese and white wine. Gathering people around the “fondue pot” to dip chunks of bread into mouth-watering processed cheese is today a common sight in Alpine ski resorts.
The cheese fondue from Rhône-Alpes has become one of the French gastronomy’s friendliest meals! Originally known as poors’ and dairymen’s dish, the fondue savoyarde is definitely renowned today for its social aspect. Several specialities from the mountainous regions of France refer to communal dishes cooked on the hearth in an earthenware casserole.
The first Fondue was created, in the late 17th century, mixing and melting all the leftovers of cheese. Country families began to eat the processed cheese with little pieces of stale bread. It is also believed in the Savoy area that the cheese fondue was originally cooked not to waste the cheese and bread that were produced in the summer and would become hard during the winter. But the Savoie fondue’s recipe actually dates back to 1930 and consists in combining white wine with processed cheese, garlic seasoning and a bit of cornstarch to thicken the mixture. This wintry dish is nowadays enjoyed in a “fondue pot”, in which gruyère or emmental cheese slowly melts over a small burner. Gourmet diners typically use “fondue forks” to dip their chunks of bread.