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Fondue

This fabled dish is said to have been invented in the Swiss canton of Zurich during a 16th-century siege, when meals had to be improvised from available ingredients.

Tear 1 loaf country bread into bite-size pieces. Set aside. Rub interior of a medium stainless-steel pot with a peeled garlic clove, then discard garlic. Add 1 ¼ cups dry white wine (preferably Swiss fendant) and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Add 1 lb. (about 3 cups) chopped gruyère cheese and a pinch of nutmeg. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until cheese melts (cheese and wine will not yet be blended).

Combine 1 tbsp. cornstarch with 2 tbsp. kirsch in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and stir into cheese mixture. Continue to stir and simmer until cheese mixture becomes smooth, about 5 minutes, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding up to ¼ cup more wine if fondue is too thick.

To serve, transfer to a fondue pot or chafing dish set over a flame. To eat, spear bread pieces with fondue forks and dip in cheese, continuing to stir with forks as you dip. Makes 2-3 cups (about 4 servings).


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