We had a chance to visit the home of Roth Käse USA cheese company in Monroe, Wis., last week. After a tour of the cheesemaking facilities, we sampled a few of their creations and a classic Alpine preparation: fondue. Marketing Director Kristen Jaeckle, whose family founded the company, shared a few tips for what she likes to call "deconstructed fondue." This simple recipe has just two necessary components: cheese and wine. Well, in addition to a few things served on the side – hence the deconstruction. The cheese is a mixture of aged Gruyère, young Gruyère and Fontina for its great melting properties. Instead of adding the Kirschwasser to the fondue itself, Jaeckle prefers to serve it on the side, as a shot. In addition to the obvious fun factor, the drink is said to aid digestion. Nutmeg and fresh black pepper are also served on the side. Here are a few more of Jaeckle's fondue tips:
- Spend on the cheese, not the wine. This is a time when a cheap bottle of white wine will do the trick. Nothing too fruity or oaky. Try Pinot Grigio or a dry Riesling.
- To help the cheese and wine come together, shred the cheese and soak it in the wine for 30 to 60 minutes before beginning the heating process.
- Never stop stirring. Go front to back, side to side, to cover the whole surface.
- If the cheese clumps, turn the heat to high for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly with quick, short motions. Once it's broken up, return to lower heat.
- Get the full recipe: Roth Käse USA: Veritable Alpine Fondue