All About you and Fondue!

Fondue

According to history experts, fondue consists of at least two

varieties of cheeses that are melted with wine and a bit of flour.

It’s served communally out of pot called a “caquelon”. Long forks

are used by each guest to spear a cube of bread then the bread is

dipped into the cheese and eaten.

 

How did cheese fondue get started?

Fondue history states that this warm melted cheese dish originated

in Switzerland specifically in the region of Neuchatel.  The word

“fondue” is from a French derivative “fondre” which means ” to

melt”.

Today fondues use more than the original bread to dip into the pot.

Bread is still the favoured dipping item but fresh vegetables are

now also popular particularly with healthy issues in mind.  Fondues

are also now pots of more than melted cheeses.  They can be a

sauce, oil, broth or the traditional melted cheese.  Personally. I

believe that a true fondue should involve cheese – anything else is

a poor second cousin.

 

Originally, fondues were created out of necessity prior to

refrigeration. Cheeses and breads – which were made in the summer

and autumn months – became hard as rocks after several months.

Locals came to realise that if they heated the cheese with some

wine over the fire it became soft and extremely tasty and the bread

which was too hard by itself became extremely edible if dunked into

the heated cheese mixture.

 

Once a necessity, the cooking method of fondue became a social

custom of making the best of the long, cold Swiss winters by

huddling around the fire with friends or family with a large pot of

cheese and some hard bread. It’s a tradition that has stood the

years and travelled across the continents.

Most recipes we see for “traditional” Swiss style fondue are a

combination of two cheeses used, Gruyere and Emmenthaler. They are

combined because either cheese alone would make for a mixture that

was too sharp or too bland. However any cheese combination will

work .  Tasty cheeses can be added to a broth of wine or

wine/stock.  Kirsch was also added if the cheeses didn’t have

enough flavour.

 

Although the baby boomers will cringe when the term”fondue” is

mentioned, anyone younger than this will enjoy this very social

culinary experience.  Fondue pots are available again in kitchen

shops and can double up as a pot to melt chocolate in for dipping

strawberries etc for desserts.

 

So for a very different and highly interactive dinner party, try a

fondue party.  You could also theme it by asking guests to dress in

70’s gear as well and play 70’s music to complete the theme.

Here’s a delicious and easy recipe for traditional Swiss Fondue:

What you’ll need:

2 cups shredded process Swiss cheese ( or Grandvewe’s Primavera!)

1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp dry mustard

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp pepper

1 cup buttermilk

1 clove garlic

Dry white table wine

Cooked ham cubes

Bread

 

Serve this version of Swiss fondue with ham cubes and toast

triangles that are made ahead for swirling in the cheese mixture.

You can also use fresh fruits such as apple and pear slices.

Start by tossing the cheese with cornstarch, salt, dry mustard,

nutmeg, and pepper. Heat the buttermilk with the garlic in a double

boiler or over hot water in the fondue pot. When thoroughly heated,

remove the garlic and add the cheese mixture. Stir it until the

cheese melts and is blending smoothly.

Heat the wine up a little and add gradually to the mixture, 2 Tbsp

at a time. This keeps the fondue at a dipping consistency. Serve

your guest and make sure each has a fondue fork to use with the ham

cubes and fruit. Once you swirl the ham in the cheese mixture,

place it on top of the bread and eat until you can eat no more.

Delicious!

 

Use the same fondue pot (emptied and cleaned) to melt some high

quality chocolate with a splash of a liqueur added for dipping

fruits as a dessert finale to the evening.

 

 

Keep being ewenique!

 

Diane Rae

Master Cheesemaker

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