Do you Fondue?


Growing up in a house with numerous display items that were “look-don’t-touch”, I often wondered why we had this pretty copper set. The only time I could handle it was when I was assigned to dusting the dining room. It may have actually been used in the early 70s, during the fondue party craze, but I was just a toddler and don’t recall any fork-poking and dipping and swirling revelry.

Fast-forward to the late 90s-ish, and out pops a fondue restaurant in Northern New Jersey. I didn’t understand at that time: My inner thoughts tried to reason – “Why would people just go to eat a dinner of melted cheese and cubed bread?” Silly me..that was my traditional understanding of fondue from the Swiss Miss W.

A group of us went to the Melting Pot in Westwood, NJ, and when I saw the menu, I was confused – you can ‘fondue’ shrimp and meat and vegetables in oil or broth? While choosing our cooking style and learning how to dip in the most sanitary way so as not to poke raw meat and then eat off the same poker, I realized I was enjoying myself. They offered several types of cheese fondue to start, like cheddar, and the idea just went against my Swiss nature. I needed the traditional, and they delivered rather closely to what I expected (Gruyère and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses, white wine, garlic, nutmeg, lemon and Kirschwasser). I was almost fondue’d out by dessert time but had to indulge in a chocolate fondue. After all, I wasn’t planning a fondue party any time soon, and there was no way that copper pot was going to be dirtied.

A few years later, I had a strong need to get back to simplicity and have some real Swiss fondue, where else but in Switzerland! A fondue lunch (with nothing but that hot, melted cheese goodness, with the essential Kirschwasser I mentioned in my Black Forest Cake blog and cubes of hearth-baked bread) outdoors in Zermatt with the Matterhorn behind me felt like I had reached the heavenly root of my heritage.

I heeded our tour guide’s advice not to have beer with cheese fondue. It apparently turns the cheese into a rock in your stomach. After all, between the white wine and the kirsch in the fondue, that’s probably enough of an alcohol combination.

Ironincally, this review just came out: http://www.northjersey.com/food_dining/140267803_Restaurant_puts_fondue_in_diners__hands.html

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I love fondue! We have a nice place by us (simply fondue) It’s so good that it made me run out and buy a ruffoni fondue and a fondue cookbook!

    Reply

  2. Posted by brian vincent on February 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    thank you for your latest blog…although that doesn’t sound like the right term to use when refering to food!
    ya know…BLOG!!!
    JUST KIDDING!
    keep’em comin!!!

    Reply

  3. […] Do you Fondue? (dishingondining.wordpress.com) […]

    Reply

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