Cooking with leftovers – the recipe of the week

It is increasingly important to raise awareness on issues such as food waste and food recycling. In fact, a third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted every year. Part of the problem is due to household consumption.

Thanks to various studies and the “Diary of Food Waste” initiative by the South Tyrolean Consumer Center, it was found that food that is no longer perceived as fresh enough ends up in the garbage. This waste comes from buying more than you need, cooking more than you eat, and improperly storing food.

Studies in Germany show that around 16 percent of food waste in private households is cooked food. Most of the time they end up in the bin because too much has been cooked or the leftovers were not reused in time.

In order to counteract this phenomenon, the VZS collects recipes that have been prepared with leftover food and / or food that is no longer fresh or with excess food.

A cheese fondue is very popular for cozy New Year’s Eve celebrations. It is easy to prepare and is very suitable for recycling leftovers after the holidays.

Cheese fondue

for: Leftovers from semi-hard or white mold cheese, white wine, stale bread

Time required: approx. 25 to 50 minutes (more time is required for the alcohol-free version)

Ingredients for six servings:

  • approx. 500 g of various semi-hard or white mold cheeses (e.g. Fontina, Asiago, Provolone, Emmentaler, Tilsiter, Gouda, raclette cheese, Camembert, Brie)
  • 1 clove of garlic to taste
  • 250 to 300 ml white wine or sparkling wine, dry
  • 2 to 3 tbsp water (or 2 tbsp schnapps, gin, etc.)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • Muskat
  • Pfeffer

for the non-alcoholic variant (instead of wine or sparkling wine, the other ingredients remain the same):

  • approx. 250 ml vegetable stock without pieces
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 Natron socket


Remove any existing rinds from the cheese, cut off the noble mold rind in the case of white cheese. Grate or finely chop the cheese and mix in a bowl. Depending on your taste, halve the garlic clove and rub it into the inside of a tall saucepan. Heat the wine or sparkling wine in a saucepan and gradually add the cheese and slowly melt it, stirring constantly in a figure of eight so that nothing burns. When the mixture is simmering gently, stir the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water (or alternatively schnapps or similar) until smooth, add to the cheese mixture and briefly bring to the boil. Season to taste with nutmeg and pepper. Take the pot off the stove and place it on a heated warmer on the dining table to keep it warm, stirring occasionally while eating.

The ingredients for dipping should be prepared beforehand. For example: bite-sized cubes of fresh or toasted stale bread, bite-sized pieces of cooked (waxy) potatoes, apple wedges, pear wedges, pickled vegetables, cooked vegetables such as cauliflower or carrot slices, raw or fried halved mushrooms. These bites are skewered on (fondue) forks and pulled through the hot cheese fondue.

Alcohol-free variant

Instead of wine or champagne, slowly heat the vegetable broth with the lemon juice. Gradually stir in cheese and slowly melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Warning: this mixture must not boil, otherwise the cheese will curdle! When the cheese has melted, stir 3 teaspoons of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water until smooth and stir into the sauce.

Season to taste with nutmeg and pepper. Finally stir in the baking soda. Serve the fondue immediately and place it on a heated warmer on the dining table to keep it warm.


If you only make cheese fondue occasionally, you don’t need to buy special fondue dishes. A conventional stainless steel pot, warmer and normal forks are sufficient.


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