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Cheese Fondue
Cheese Fondue
Fondue creates a good mood, or as the Swiss like to say: “la fondue cree la bonne humeur”. Most people agree that on a winter’s night, a gently bubbling pot of melted cheese creates much more than a good mood. Indeed, the camaraderie and warmth it elicits among family, friends and lovers is unparalleled.
Cheese fondue was conceived as a Swiss peasant dish, a pot that held what little they had left to eat at the end of winter: dry bits of cheese and bread. From humble beginnings it is now the Swiss national dish, with a reputation that ranges from kitschy 1970s dinner parties to après-ski indulgence.
A classic Swiss fondue calls for two kinds of cheese. There is Emmenthaler, a quintessentially Swiss cheese, and the richer Gruyere, says city’super [citysuper green] merchandising manager Gabrielle Fay. Heighten the glamour by using a premium cheese. “For a more premium version, what we do in Europe is use more vintage and rare cheeses, like
Comte aged 24 months, or mature Appenzeller and Beaufort. The better the cheese, the better the fondue,” she says.
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Traditionally, only bread is dipped into the cheese. But Fay suggests experimentation. “In Italy, they can use breadsticks wrapped with cured ham. Lobster and shrimp will also do quite well. Make sure you use hard fruit like apple and pear, and hard vegetables such as cauliflower and potato that hasn’t been fully cooked. For a really luxurious fondue, paper-thin shaved truffle will be delicious,” she says.
A proper Swiss fondue is simple to make, but preparation is important. Rub a heated fondue pot down with a cut clove of garlic. Pour in a dry, white wine which prevents the cheese from clumping together. The general rule is one cup for every 450 grams of cheese.
Take handfuls of grated cheese coated with cornstarch, adding 250 grams per diner. A squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of kirsch will further stabilize the cheese and add brightness to the rich mélange.
Source of Images: Taste of Life, margouillat photo/ Shutterstock.com