The Stinker Cheese Fondue

This fondue made with Taleggio, a melty, brine-washed Italian cheese, is cookbook author Liz Thorpe's favorite. Including its rind enhances the funkiness and adds an almost bacony flavor. Scoop soft Époisses right out of the rind and into the pot. Use a floral, dry Riesling in this fondue. The aromatic wine will offset the salty funkiness of the cheese, plus it's delicious to drink alongside. 

The Stinker Cheese Fondue
Photo: © Abby Hocking
Total Time:
15 mins


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

  • 1 cup dry white wine, preferably Riesling

  • 1 garlic clove, halved

  • 1/2 pound Taleggio cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes with the rind left on 

  • 1/2 pound Époisses cheese 

  • 1 tablespoon Kirsch or Cognac (optional) 


  1. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the wine.

  2. Rub the inside of a small enameled cast-iron casserole or saucepan with the cut garlic clove. Add the remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of wine and bring to a simmer over moderate heat.

  3. Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture and simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to moderately low and add the cheeses in batches, spooning the Époisses directly out of its rind and into the pot, whisking constantly, until each addition is melted before adding more and the fondue is smooth, about 5 minutes. Some small, edible pieces of rind will remain. Stir in the Kirsch or Cognac, if using. Serve immediately in the casserole or a warm fondue pot (see Note).

Make Ahead

The fondue can be refrigerated overnight and reheated gently on the stove over very low heat.


If using a fondue pot for serving, fill it with hot water and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly immediately before adding the cheese fondue.

Serve With

Pieces of crusty bread, blanched or roasted vegetables, endive spears, thinly sliced apple, dried apricots, dates, root vegetable chips, sliced salumi (preferably something smoky, like dried chorizo), pickles.

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