Fondue-in-a-Bag Is a Rousing Success

Emmi Fondue Suisse Original

Emmi Fondue Suisse Original

I Paid: $12.99 for a 14-ounce bag (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 5 stars

Marketing: 5 stars

As far as small kits of shelf-stable heat-and-eat foods go, Emmi Fondue Suisse must surely rank amongst the most expensive. At $13 a pop, it's competitive in price with some restaurant fondue entrées—and when you're out to eat, someone else graciously takes care of cleaning the pot and all the damned fondue forks.

Therefore, to be even vaguely interesting, Emmi Fondue Suisse would have to be excellent.

It is.

It starts off inauspiciously: When you cut open the foil sack that contains the fondue, a thin liquid dribbles off into the pan, chased by a sad, floppy rectangle of semisolid cheese. But after just a few minutes of heating and stirring, the stuff comes together to form a smooth and creamy fondue that has a nice level of saltiness, thanks to the made-in-Switzerland Swiss cheese that's at the base of this product.

The fondue also contains the perfect amount of Kirsch brandy: You can certainly taste it, and it's a great complement for the melted cheese, but it's not overwhelming. Overall, the fondue's flavor is rich and simple, and easy to boost with black pepper, nutmeg, or other spices.

I've made fondue from scratch, and I've ordered it in good restaurants; price be damned, straight-from-a-box Emmi Fondue Suisse is now at or near the top of my list in terms of overall quality and ease of preparation.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.