January 18, 2018

Fondue-Is it Swiss or French?

When you think of Switzerland I’m sure mountains, scenic trains, chocolate, banking, cows and more pop into your mind.  But in this small country the king of the food items has got to be Fondue!Cheese Fondue Switzerland

The history of fondue isn’t really clear.  The oldest recipe for cheese fondue dates back to 1699. In 1735 a French chef named la Chapelle published a recipe for fondue and hence the reason some believe the dish is actually of French beginnings. By the time the first recipe for modern cheese fondue was published 1875, it was already a Swiss national dish.  This is probably due to the fact that true cheese fondue use Gruyere cheese which means it must be Swiss!

Traditional lore says fondue started out of necessity as a way to use scraps of old cheese and stale bread during the winter when food was scarcer and villages were more isolated by the weather and snow.

No matter where it really got started, today fondue is a traditional Swiss dish and one that I love!

It is probably not surprising that each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons claim to have the best Fondue! However, in its simplest form fondue is all about local cheese and wine.

Le Chalet Gruyeres Switzerland

Le Chalet by Tomasz Wachowski Klondek

“Traditional” Swiss Fondue is made using Gruyere and Emmenthaler cheeses which are melted with white wine and a splash of Kirsch.  Other local cheeses like Walliser Bergkase, Appenzeller or Vacherin may be used along with mushrooms, garlic, peppers or other herbs.

In Fribourg, the fondue is made using Gruyere and Vacherin cheeses.  The wine and Kirsch are not added but you will be dipping your bread in plum schnapps before diving into all that hot melty goodness!

I was recently reading an article on Fondue which got me reminiscing about Switzerland and all the fantastic fondue I’ve dipped into while traveling in this fabulous country!Swiss Fondue Switzerland

While in Zurich, I enjoyed a wonderful pot of traditional fondue with green peppercorns and mustard at Restaurant Swiss Chuchi in the Hotel Adler.  During the warmer months, there is outside seating which, IMO, only adds to the enjoyment of your meal.

If you’re in Montreux I can recommend Le Museum Restaurant.  The restaurant is located in the wine cellar of a 13th century convent and has quit a history.  This cozy place has a great atmosphere and is known for its fondue!

In the village famous for its cheese, Gruyeres, make sure to visit Le Chalet.  This traditional Swiss restaurant is dressed up as a chalet complete with open beams.  In a village that is equally charming, Le Chalet serves wonderful fondue!  I also enjoyed a green salad that was served in a cute little wooden bowl that really looked more like a very small wood bucket!

I know Fondue is a simple meal of bread and cheese but I find it to be a great way to slow down, enjoy a meal and the company of those that are with you.  It really doesn’t get much better than this!


Where have you enjoyed Fondue?

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  1. Sabrina says:

    You just made me so hungry 🙂 I love fondue! I mean, I love cheese and dipping things in it can only make it better, but even more than that I like that everybody is gathering around the table and dipping and talking and that it’s a slow meal to be enjoyed with friends.
    Sabrina recently posted..German Ads Against Discrimination

  2. I love fondue too much to rather care which side it belongs to. I’ve got a certain affection for the French so I’ll side with them, but that’s only because I’m a self-loathing Brit. Anyway, pass the cheese.
    Will – TravelSexLife recently posted..The World’s Top Sex Shows (Part 2/3): Tijuana’s Donkey Shows

  3. Christine says:

    Looks delish! I’ve only ever had a quick lay-over in Zurich, so just enough time to walk around the city, but not enough to stop and sample fondue.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I can highly recommend spending time in Switzerland and Zurich. Fondue is worth it but there is so much more!

  4. I love Fondue, unfortunately I only tried it at Melting Pot in California. I wonder if are other places that also serves good fondue but better price.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Well I haven’t found any that I would say have better prices. Maybe make some of your own? It is really easy.

  5. I’ve done cheese fondues at my home but I don’t like cheese (lactose probs), I just love the idea of it. Weird, eh?

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Well then you need to make a Chinoise fondue which uses meat with dipping sauces. You can either cook the meet in oil or broth. Its really good too just a little more time consuming to make so I usually go the quicker route 🙂

  6. Denise says:

    Have you ever tried Raclette (also a Swiss cheese dish)?

  7. Cindy says:

    I have eaten the best Fondue in Switzerland, too. But I think it isn’t easy to decide, from which country is the original Fondue. Even because the population of Switzerland is a big mixture: there are german, french and swiss people living altogether.

  8. I should not have read this before dinner. Now I’m wanting fondue! (Never had, but your pics look DELISH! Chili just doesn’t seem as exotic or fun now…)

  9. I don’t know if it’s Swiss or French either, but it definitely is delicious! 🙂

  10. I do not care where it came from. I just want to eat it!!

  11. marlys says:

    I tasted my first fondue in Geneva. So, it must be Swiss 😉

  12. inka says:

    i love fondue too. Had many of those during the year I spent at university in Basle. Going back to attend the Fsanacht at the end of February and will sample a fondue ot two.

  13. Jillian says:

    I love chocolate fondue (does that even really count as fondue?). We had fondue with some couchsurfers in Prague, very cool and a great way to share dinner!

  14. Katherina says:

    There is no other place in the World that would make me think more of cheese fondue than Switzerland… What I learned during my 2 years in the country was that: the colder and remote village – the better its fondues! I’m returning for a few days at the end of January… and have already booked a fondue lunch (followed by meringue with double cream) in my agenda!! 🙂

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Good to know about the colder and more remote villages! I had the double cream and berries while in Gruyeres, simply wonderful! Hope you enjoy your short visit in Switzerland.

  15. jade says:

    Love Fondue- we had it several times when we visited France- each a truly unique experience. Sometimes Bob and I will try and make it at our house, but it never taste as good!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      IMO everything tastes better in the country of it’s origin! For example, I’m not an Irish Whiskey fan but am absolutely positive I would love it if I was drinking it in an Irish pub 🙂

  16. Sophie says:

    Where have I enjoyed fondue…? Most frequently in Zermatt. And in Annecy (I second Le Fréti, btw). Swiss AND French.

  17. Christopher says:

    I also love fondue, but I have always found it exorbitantly expensive in the Swiss restaurants. How were the prices when you were there?

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I think its expensive every where even here in the states! The only reason I can come up with for the high prices is a fondue meal takes longer than other type of meals so they don’t turn the tables as often. I don’t know but this makes sense to me.

  18. I looooove cheese fondue. The reason why I think its origin is often mistaken is because the French region where it was “invented”, Haute-Savoie, was actually a part of Switzerland, historically. I can understand where the confusion comes from, it took me a while to figure it out!

    I have a pretty good recipe I do at home every once in a while, it’s a typical “savoyarde” fondue made of 4 different cheeses: Beaufort, Comté, Reblochon and Tome de Savoie, with some Apremont white wine and kirsch. It is absolutely divine!

    A great fondue restaurant in France is Le Fréti in Annecy. The fine herbs one is to die for!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Europe can get confusing with all the border changes over the eons! Its funny though to see how ‘they’ fight over some things.

      Thanks for your comment. I too love fondue and have a recipe I make every now and then. I think I’d like to try your “savoyarde” fondue as a change 🙂


  1. […] Montreux Switzerland sits on the banks of Lake Geneva and is full of the charm and views you come to expect in this scenic country.  It is also a great city to use as a base. There are many sites within easy reach including Lausanne, wineries and scenic Gruyeres!  One thing I enjoy so much about Europe is it’s abundance of gardens and flowers.  This lovely garden in Montreux is no exception. […]

  2. […] in Northwest Switzerland, in a little pocket of land surrounded by France at the bottom of the Jura mountains, this village […]

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