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Oktoberfest Smorgasbord


  • 2 cups (500 ml) grated emmental cheese
  • 2 cups (500 ml) grated gruyère cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 cup (250 ml) your favorite lager
  • 1 large clove garlic, halved and lightly smashed
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped thyme
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Kirsch or Grand Marnier liqueur
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • 1 large honeycrisp or royal gala apple, cored and cut into wedges
  • 8 boiled new potatoes (or another vegetable if you wish)
  • Crusty baguette, cubed
  • Landjaeger sausage, sliced
  • Another hard-cured sausage (chorizo or whatever you like), sliced
  • 1 large raw red bell pepper, coarsely chopped


  1. In a large bowl, toss the cheeses with the cornstarch.
  2. In a 3-quart (3 l) saucepan, combine the beer and garlic. Bring the mixture almost to a boil, uncovered over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat, and allow the mixture to rest for approximately five minutes. Remove and discard the garlic.
  3. Return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat. Add the cheese mixture a large handful at a time, stirring each batch so that the cheese doesn’t clump as it melts. This is a crucial point in the method: keep your eye on it and stir constantly but slowly. Continue until all the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth and thick. Adjust the heat if necessary to maintain a simmer. Stir the thyme and liqueur into the cheese mixture, and season to taste with pepper. When the flavors have combined, and the cheese is melted, it is ready to serve.
  4. To serve, transfer the mixture to a fondue pot. Set the fondue over a low flame to keep it warm. Serve with all your beautiful garnish items and enjoy a nice cold beer (or two) with it.

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