Do Like the Swiss Do

A Cheese Fondue, the ultimate winter nibble.

It is warm, gooey, comforting and really tasty. Served alongside some roasted chestnuts, roasted garlic, and salted baked potatoes… with a matching red wine makes for an absolutely beautiful tucked in and cozy night. It really helps the whole swiss atmosphere if there is snow outside, you are in a cabin with a fireplace!! I guess it’s time to visit Switzerland!! ūüôā

Cheese Fondue is essentially a Swiss dish of melted cheese. It is traditionally served in a communal pot over a portable stove heated with a candle or a spirit lamp. The fondue is usually eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. The best thing about fondue is that it is a very social dish. It is the type of food you have with friends while chatting. However, it also works fantastic for a date night, with the chestnuts, the wine and the cabin! (heheh)

I love serving Fondue in the cooler times, when my friends are over, and we sit outdoors with some blankets (on the very rare occasions when it gets cold here). I love the freedom it gives me to actually be with them rather than in and out of the kitchen. It is in a way a comfort food, all warm cheese is! So the chats become more intimate and personal. It is true friends time, time when you want to listen and be heard. I love that, try it.

 

If Рlike me Рyou are interested in knowing how foods came about and how they were created, then here is a little bit about the origins of fondue. 

Fondue is in fact a very old preparation. There is a dispute about whether fondue is Swiss or French originally, but what is known is that it originated in an area that did not belong to either country, which later on became part of Switzerland. With that said, the first documented recipes of Fondue where all in French, and written by French cooks and French food writers.

The Earliest recipes of cheese fondue are very different from modern recipes, and always included the addition of eggs. One of the early ways of making fondue, shows eggs were added to the melted cheese and then scrambled. The other¬†preparation¬†was more like a cheese¬†souffl√©. It was not until the early 1900’s that fondue¬†preparation¬†took the simpler approach that we know in today’s recipes.

It’s been known that fondue originated as the food of peasants. Which makes sense, because it made use of old hard cheese and old stale breads. But because of its goodness, and its social characteristic, fondue became very popularly spread amongst people of all backgrounds.

As ever…

Yesterday’s poor man’s food becomes today’s celebrated cuisine!

 

Ingredients

Serves: 3
  • 3 cups shredded¬†Gruy√®re
  • 2 cups shredded Emmental
  • 3 tbsp organic flour
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine or (1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup white grape vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup warm half and half or light cream
  • 2 tbsp kirsch (optional)
  • Crushed Pecans (optional)
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of white pepper

Stand grated cheeses at room temperature for 30 minutes. Coat the cheeses with flour and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat wine or vinegar over medium heat until small bubbles start rising to the surface – just before boiling point – reduce heat to low and gradually add in the coated cheese stirring continuously. Make sure the cheese is melted after each addition before adding more. Stir until the mixture bubbles gently. Remove from heat. Stir in warm cream, kirsch and spices and mix well. Transfer to fondue pot, keeping it bubbling gently over fondue burner.

If the mixture becomes too thick from the heat, stir in more cream.

Serve with a variety of breads, vegetables, dry meats, pickles, olives…etc

Fondue parties

have made a comeback from the 70’s when they were most popular, and are now back in fashion. Just prepare your fondue, and since rustic is the most stylish genre of the moment, serve it with whole baguettes and some that are torn into pieces by hand, rather than¬†symmetrically¬†cubed.
You can serve cheese fondue with a variety of accompaniments;¬†crudit√©s, cured meats, crackers, bread sticks, pears, apples, grapes, pickles, olives, jams…etc

Nowadays, there are many options when it comes to fondue serving ware, from fountain machines, to copper pots, to electric heaters and everything in between. it doesn’t matter how you serve it, just make sure the cheese stays warm for the ultimate flavour and effect.

There are many recipes, and you can play around with the ingredients as you like. However, it is usually made using Gruyère cheese with Emmental or swiss cheese. Feel Free to experiment and come up with your own version.

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