More Chinese Saying ‘Cheese’ for Cool-Weather Fondue

by swisscham in Hospitality, Retail, Tourism

As autumn temperatures drop, the Chinese like to pamper themselves with hotpot to escape the chill. In recent years, cheese fondue, a tradition from Switzerland of dipping bread and other foods in melted cheese, has become popular in Beijing, as more and more Chinese are falling for the delicious dish. “In Switzerland, ‘fondue’ just means cheese fondue. It is the country’s signature dish, like Peking duck (for China),” says Wang Wen’ge, executive chef with Cafe Swiss at Swissotel Beijing. “Cheese fondue now is not so common in Beijing as in Switzerland, but is increasingly loved by Chinese people and expats.” Cheese fondue is similar to Chinese hotpot, but with a much simpler set of foods to dip into the pot, including bread and baby potatoes, he says. The chef uses Emmental and Gruyere to make cheese fondue. The cheeses are among Switzerland’s most expensive ones. After grating the cheeses, he tosses them into a pot that has been rubbed with garlic, and heats them with white wine and garlic. He stirs until the cheese melts, and then adds powdered red pepper and ground nutmeg, sometimes followed by grappa wine.

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