Fonduta Piemontese

Cheese Fondue from Piedmont

If you should find yourself in the town of Cuneo, step into Osteria della Chiocciola for a glass of wine and a classic fonduta piemontese. Please don’t confuse this dish with the cheese fondue of Switzerland. Fonduta piemontese is made with Italian Fontina, a much creamier, earthier cheese than the Gruyère used for the Swiss version, plus milk and egg yolks. An even more luxurious concoction is the addition of a layer of freshly shaved white truffles. The precious fungi are astronomically expensive, but a bit of truffle oil added after the cheese is melted is a reasonably priced substitute. It can be a dip for pieces of toasted bread or sticks of briefly blanched vegetables, or can serve as a sauce for gnocchi, polenta, or risotto cakes.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into small dice
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon truffle oil (optional)

Method

If possible, combine the cheese and milk in a bowl and let soak overnight in the refrigerator or for at least a few hours at room temperature.

Melt the butter in the top pan of a double boiler over simmering water. Add the cheese and milk mixture. Whisk well to combine, then continue to whisk, adding the egg yolks one at a time and whisking well after each addition. When the fonduta is smooth and creamy, after about 6 to 8 minutes, stir in the truffle oil, if desired.

Serve at once in warmed bowls as a dip with one of the suggestions in the introduction.