Classic Cheese Fondue

This classic cheese fondue is a Swiss dish that consists of Emmental and Gruyère cheese melted in a pot where you use a variety of dippers like bread, fruit and vegetables to dip in the cheese and eat.

close-up of classic cheese fondue with bread dipping in cheese

Did you ever wonder how cheese fondue originated? Neither did I until I started writing this post, but curiosity got the best of me. It was actually popularized as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese union in 1930s to increase the consumption of cheese. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never actually needed a reason to increase my consumption of cheese, but I’m still happy I have enjoyed cheese fondue over the years.

For me and probably most people in the US, my first time having cheese fondue occurred at The Melting Pot. I feel like The Melting Pot pretty much has a monopoly on fondue. I’ve seen some restaurants here and there offer fondue, but for most (myself among them), if you’re craving fondue you go to The Melting Pot. I loved it so much, that we went for my birthday from ages 6-18 probably 10 times. Yes there were a couple of times we didn’t go, but my birthday usually consisted of fondue. Yes I admit I was an expensive child! And that’s the problem with The Melting Pot – it can be quite pricey.

So today I figured I’d introduce my own version of a classic cheese fondue, which while still a little pricey to get all the ingredients – is way cheaper than going out. So why am I calling this recipe a classic cheese fondue? Well because the two cheeses consists of Emmental and Gruyère, which were the original cheeses used in fondue. Yes there are a variety of cheeses you can use these days, but if you want the original, this is it.

Oh and I might be posting this because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s really the perfect appetizer or even main course to enjoy with your significant other. You might even go all out and make some chocolate fondue as well.

close-up of fondue in white pot

What Ingredients are in Classic Cheese Fondue?

  • Garlic
  • Good dry white wine
  • Emmental cheese
  • Gruyère cheese
  • Cornstarch
  • Brandy
  • Lemon juice
  • Nutmeg
  • Dippers (bread, fruit, vegetables)

close-up of classic cheese fondue with bread dipping in cheese

Do I Have to Use Emmental and Gruyère Cheese?

Of course not, but I called it a classic cheese fondue for a reason as Emmental and Gruyère are the main components. But if you want something different, you could use fontina or gouda. Or if you really want to mix it up you can do a cheddar and beer fondue.

close-up of classic cheese fondue with bread dipping in cheese

Other Appetizer Ideas:

5 from 1 vote
close-up of classic cheese fondue with bread dipping in cheese
Classic Cheese Fondue
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This classic cheese fondue consists of Emmental and Gruyère cheese and is the perfect vehicle to dip breads, fruits and vegetables.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Swiss
Keyword: Classic Cheese Fondue
Servings: 6
Calories: 453 kcal
  • 1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 lb Emmental cheese, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 lb Gruyère cheese, grated (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Dippers (cubes of French bread, apples, pears, peppers, blanched broccoli, etc...)
  1. Rub inside of heavy pot or saucepan with cut sides of garlic, then discard the garlic. Add wine and bring to a simmer over moderate heat.

  2. Gradually add cheese to pot and cook, stirring constantly in a zigzag pattern to prevent cheese from balling up. Do this until cheese is just melted and creamy, but do not let boil.

  3. Stir together cornstarch, brandy and lemon juice and stir into fondue. Add ground nutmeg. Bring fondue to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Do not overcook or fondue will get stringy. Transfer to a fondue pot set over a flame.


  1. Can never go wrong with fondue!

  2. Best fondue I’ve ever had was at the Grizzly House in Banff, Canada. You’ve got to reserve- and it is expensive- but so, so worth it. Their motto “For Lovers and Hedonists Since 1967”.
    Highly recommend.

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