World Cuisine - Switzerland
Did you know, that the first mention of Fondue dates as far back as Homer’s Iliad from around 800-725BC, where it was described as a mixture of goat’s cheese, wine and flour? According to this article on BBC Travel where it tries to trace the mysterious origins of Fondue by traveling through Switzerland.
What is Fondue? Traditional Fondue is made of two varieties of cheese, the Gruyeres and Vacherin, grated and melted together with a hint of garlic, a splash of white wine and a touch of kirsch, cherry brandy. The resulting dish is served in an earthenware pot called a caquelon, which sits above a portable stove to ensure a constantly bubbling mixture, and long forks dip and swirl country-style bread into the pot. This is a communal affair, a nice experience to share with friends and family, kind of like the Asian Hot Pot.
From this original concept of Fondue, it has evolved into many versions using different ingredients, such as Oil fondue, where you have hot oil in the middle, and different varieties of raw beef and vegetables are at the end of a fork, and you fry your own. Then dip into the sauce of your choice, and eat away!
Then, there is of course the Chocolate Fondue, where you dip bread and fruits into a hot, fudgy chocolate sauce.
So it seems, that now there are hardly any rules as to what can be turned into a “Fondue”. If you are interested in a very traditional recipe for a Fondue, here is a traditional recipe you can try out with available cheese.
If you are near the New York City area, here is a comprehensive report on CBS where to go for a great Fondue experience! With the way the weather is going, it is still Fondue season in NYC!
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