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How to Eat Cheese Fondue

Fondue - joujou /
Today has been a rainy and quite cold day for summer so I decided to write about cheese fondue, a typical Swiss dish that is usually eaten in the colder times of the year, especially during winter. I have heard of people eating cheese fondue in the heat of the summer but I have yet to meet such a person.

Three Types of Fondue

Let's leave the cheese fondue eating schedules of Swiss people and talk about the dish itself. We Swiss know and eat three types of fondues: cheese, meat and chocolate. All of these fondues include a full pot on a small burner in the middle of the table, long forks and something to dip in whatever is in the pot.

What makes one fondue different from the other are the ingredients. It matters a lot what thing you dip in what liquid! Cheese fondue is made of melted cheese mixed with white wine, kirsch and spices and you dip bread in it. In meat fondue you actually cook the meat in a broth in the pan on the table. Chocolate fondue is basically melted chocolate in which you dip different kinds of fruit.

How to Prepare Swiss Cheese Fondue

Every region in Switzerland has its own cheese fondue recipe. Each region uses different quantities and kinds of cheese but the general preparation of Swiss cheese fondue remains the same. This video describes the preparation of cheese fondue quite well:

Most Swiss people use bread to dip in the cheese. These other food items work also very well with cheese fondue:
  • FRUIT: pears, apples, pineapple
  • VEGETABLES: bell peppers, precooked broccoli, potatoes
  • MUSHROOMS: champignons, chanterelles
  • SPICES: basil, parsley, pepper, garlic, onion
  • MEAT: bacon

How to Eat Cheese Fondue

Now that you know how to prepare and set up this tasty meal I want to focus on how you should eat it. Most Swiss families have their own rules and traditions around the dipping of bread in melted cheese but some of these rules are quite universal:
  1. Everyone uses only one fork to dip his/her bread and no stealing the bread off other forks allowed!
  2. If you loose your bread you must perform a task that was agreed upon beforehand (e.g. kiss your neighbor, do the dishes, run around the house)
  3. Drink either hot tea or wine with the fondue as this is supposed to help you digest the somewhat heavy cheese dish.
  4. Exotic dipping ingredients can be tasty but are not looked well upon in some company. French bread or rustic bread are always acceptable.
My personal favorite fondue is with a lot of gruyere cheese and pears to dip. What is your favorite cheese fondue version?



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