Y’all know that Colleen and I love a good fondue, especially around the holidays. Back when I still lived in Washington, D.C., we would celebrate New Year’s Eve by rounding up a bunch of fondue pots and have cheese fondue, along with a lot of wine. We were just at the beginning of our cheese obsession then, so I don’t remember if we used any special cheeses in our fondue, but we’ve stepped up our game considerably since then. I’m always on the lookout for good fondue cheeses and found a newbie that would make an excellent addition to my fondue pot – Prairie Rose by Milton Creamery.
The same Iowa farmers who make the spectacular Prairie Breeze cheddar recently have brought this Swiss-style cheese to market, and it’s a keeper. Unlike other Swiss cheeses that can leave an aftertaste that I can only compare to that morning breath, Prairie Rose has the same nutty flavor but with a much smoother finish. Though I still love pairing it with apples, I don’t need the slices to cleanse my palate as I have with other cheeses. It’s a gentle Swiss that still manages to pack a lot of flavor into each bite. I’d love to try it paired with a Wisconsin-made Gruyère from Roth Kase and maybe a few ounces of Willi Lehner’s garlic cheddar in my fondue pot. That would be a holiday meal to remember!
Production is still limited, so you may have a hard time finding Prairie Rose outside the Upper Midwest, but since I bought mine at Whole Foods, it may start making the national scene soon. A great seasonal substitute would be Challerhocker, a delicious Swiss I discovered last summer.
Are you making fondue for the holidays this year? Share your favorite cheese combinations with us!