Sunday, August 19, 2007

Valdostana Fondue – Fonduta Valdostana

This is a simple Fontina cheese sauce. Simple, that is, for those who know how to make it. The basic ingredients are Fontina, butter, egg yolks and milk. The trick is to change the viscosity from a stringy cheese into a smooth and velvety sauce. The origins of the Fontina Fondue are not clear. Some say that Cavour is the father and that Fontina Fondue is from the royal kitchens of Turin or Geneva. Others insist that its birthplace is the Canton Ticino in Switzerland.

The first historical reference is in 1854. Giovanni Vialardi included the Valdostan Fondue in his cookbook, “Trattato di Cucina”. Giovanni Vialardi was the royal chef to king Vittorio Emanuele II and Carlo Alberto. There is a reason why this sauce is an important part of high cuisine. It is considered an “appropriate death” for Truffles and Gnocchi, mainstays of the sophisticated palate.

The consistency and delicate flavors of the Fonduta Valdostana make most Piedmont wines, such as Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco and Barbera, the perfect accompaniment.

Ingredients for 4 people:

1 lbs (454 g) Fontina
¼ stick (30 g) Butter
4 Egg Yolks
3 cups of milk (actually the amount of milk required will change according to the pan you soak the cheese in. The exact amount is enough milk to completely cover the cheese cubes)
Fresh ground Pepper


Cut the Fontina into cubes. Place the Fontina in a bowl and cover with the milk. The cheese should be completely immersed in the milk. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the cheese-milk combination soak for 5 hours.

In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks. Cut the butter into slices.

Choose a heavy pot with a thick base. The pot should be large enough to hold the milk and cheese mix. Place the cheese-milk mixture in the pot and begin to heat over medium low heat. This is a slow cook do not be in a hurry.

Stir slowly with a whisk always in the same direction. Add the butter. Once the cheese has completely melted, add the egg yolks. Continue stirring until the Fonduta Valdostana becomes creamy. The cheese will first melt. It will then cling together in a mass and finally it will dissolve into the milk sauce. Do not stop stirring and do not be in a hurry.

Remove the Fonduta Valdostana from the cooking pot and pour the sauce into a heated terracotta serving dish.


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Blogger TorAa said...

Tell you a secret: I mailed your recipe to my best friend - shhhh.

It's Anna - don't tell her...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful meal.

1:27 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

toraa Telling me about it here makes it the "segreto di pulcinella"!

I hope you had a great Ferragosto.

2:29 PM


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