Today we are talking about a delicious dish, especially recommended for cheese lovers… The exquisite fondue!
By Alessandra Ivaldi / 14.04.2021
It is one of the most famous dishes in Swiss cuisine, but it can also be tasted in some regions of Northern Italy, as well as in France.
It is prepared by melting cheese (or rather a precise mix of different types of cheeses, as fondue specialists will tell you) in a special pot called a caquelon. The fondue must be eaten hot, which is why the caquelon is brought to the table, in the middle of the diners, and placed on top of a metal support at the base of which is a candle or a small stove, which keeps the melted cheese at the desired temperature for the duration of the meal.
In addition to the caquelon, a plate with pieces of bread will also be on the table. Diners use a fondue fork to pierce the bread and dip it into the melted cheese inside the caquelon. Once you have soaked your piece of bread sufficiently, all that remains is to enjoy your bite, taking care not to burn yourself on the hot cheese!
Chunks of garlic are often added to the caquelon to further enhance the taste of the fondue. Another popular trick is to add kirsch, a spirit made from distilling cherries, to the melted cheese.
As I have already said, to make the perfect fondue, you need to know the right types of cheese and how much of them to blend together. Of course, there are an infinite number of variations of this recipe, and especially in Switzerland…wherever you are, you find a fondue!
For example, in the canton of Fribourg we can enjoy a fondue fribourgeoise, prepared using Vacherin Fribourgeois, a local product, or the so-called moitié-moitié (“fondue half and half”). in which we find two types of cheese characteristic of French Switzerland, Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois. In the neighbouring canton of Vaud, however, the cheese used is strictly Gruyère, which is in fact produced in this region, more precisely in the town of Gruyère, which is recommended not only to gourmets, but also to travel enthusiasts who will certainly find the local castle and medieval town very interesting.
But apart from the different types of cheese, what makes a fondue different from the others is also the possible additional ingredients: there are recipes that, in addition to cheese, also include tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers…
But the world of fondue always holds new surprises. In fact, over time, recipes have been invented that are very different from the classic fondue recipe I have just described. Did you know, for example, that the so-called Chinese fondue has nothing to do with cheese? It is a dish in which thin pieces of beef, lamb, pork and horse meat and vegetables are dipped into a caquelon full of broth… Add fish and seafood and you have a Mongolian fondue!
But the most popular fondue for children all over the world (and also for adults with a sweet tooth) is chocolate fondue, which is melted in a small pot similar to a caquelon but usually smaller, together with cream and a little brandy. Using fondue forks, diners dip pieces of freshly cut fruit or strawberries into the chocolate rather than bread.
This latter variant is particularly easy to cook, and the fondue pot and forks needed to prepare it are easy to find both in shops, at least in regions where the fondue tradition is widespread, and in various online shops.
Either way, whichever recipe you choose, fondue remains one of the most delicious dishes you can taste! What about you? Do you know other variations of this recipe?