The Italian version of fondue is so delicious that there is no wine, just cheese
(CNN) — The Swiss are famous for fondue, but their Italian neighbors have their own version of this delicious melted cheese dish.
The traditional Swiss version melts a variety of cheeses with wine and a little cornstarch for a smooth texture. Then the cheese mixture is put in a pan rubbed with a cut clove of garlic and seasoned with nutmeg and black pepper.
But on the other side of the Alps, in the Valle d’Aosta region, the Italians have their own version of fondue called fonduta.
Instead of Emmental and Gruyère, the Italians only use one cheese: fontina.
La Fontina is a creamy semi-hard cheese with a mild nutty taste.
“Italian fontina cheese from cows fed on sweet grass, high up in those mountains, makes the fondue so luscious it doesn’t need the white wine they add in France or Switzerland,” said Stanley Tucci. .
“Oh my God, this is so good,” Tucci said as she dipped her bread into the hot pot. “So delicious!”
(Left to right) Local sommelier and teacher Cecilia Lazzarotto and Tucci share a meal of regional specialties from the Aosta Valley at the Alpage restaurant.
Aosta Valley Fonduta
(Aosta Valley Fondue)
If you want to add a gourmet touch, garnish the fondue with freshly grated black truffles, in season from December to early March and available in specialized online stores. As an alternative, try pre-sliced truffle flakes, available online year-round.
Makes 2 servings
2 ¼ cups | 500 grams of fontina
2 cups | 500 milliliters of milk
4 egg yolks
1 ¼ tablespoons | 10 grams of all-purpose flour
Black truffle flakes, preferably freshly grated (optional)
Bain-marie or bain-marie
Fondue gel fuel (if the pot is not electric)
1. Start by removing the outer crust from the fontina, then slice it thinly. Cut the fontina into cubes and transfer the cheese to a rectangular baking dish and pour the milk over it.
2. Drain cheese and set aside excess milk for later (in step four). Put the cheese cubes in a saucepan. Fill a double boiler with water and make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the pan. This space between the water and the food keeps the temperature constant and prevents the food from overheating. Then place the pan on top and cook the fontina over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes. At first you will see a mass, then gradually the cheese will melt and become more fluid.
3. Once you have reached the desired consistency, pour in the egg yolks one at a time, then add the flour and mix continuously.
4. Add the remaining milk from stage two as needed to ensure the consistency is smooth and creamy.
5. Stir well and cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, remove from the heat and stir in the cheese mixture.
6. Once ready, pour the fondue into the fondue pot. If you are using a fondue pot with a burner, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing and lighting gel fuel at the base under the pot that will keep the fondue hot and retain its fluid consistency.
7. Serve the fondue immediately, still hot, with boiled potatoes and grilled croutons.
8. Flavor the fondue with truffle flakes, if desired.