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Swiss Fondues

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October 19, 2014 / Swiss / By
Rachael

 

A Swiss fondue is one of the traditional foods of Switzerland and is one of the classic foods to try when visiting the country. This dish consists of melted cheese served in a pot over a flame and the dipping of bread chunks into the mix. It is a simple dish but there are some rules and traditions associated with fondues.

Generally when I go to Switzerland I'll ask for a "Moitie Moitie" fondue which translates as half and half. It is made by rubbing the base of the fondue pot with garlic and swiss wine and then letting the cheese melt. A moitie moitie is made with two of Switzerland's most popular cheeses; Emmental and Gruyere. Sometimes these fondues will contain Appenzell cheese or another hard variety. The cheese is melted and it is served hot. Diners need to start eating by fixing a lump of bread to the fondue fork and dipping it into the mix. Then you simply eat the cheesy bread.

Although fondue forks have a little notch on them to secure bread there is a tradition that if the bread falls off the "offender" has to pay a forfeit. This is all very light hearted and could be a game or charade, or another round of drinks. Eating fondue is meant to be a pleasure.Sometimes You may here locals describing a muddle as a fondue. This is a colloquial expression for something that looks like a mess and is a descriptive way of using fondue. The other tradition comes at the end of a fondue when scraping the bottom of the dish for the encrusted hard cheese is all part of the experience.

Ordering drinks with a Swiss fondue is an art too. The only drinks considered suitable are white wine or black tea. Anything else will come with a stern warning from the waiter or some strange looks from other diners. In particular beer and fizzy drinks are a no no wth a fondue. Cheese can solidify in the gut and beer and soft drinks are known to enhance the effect, which can cause a stomach ache. In extreme cases it has not been unknown for someone to need surgery for removal of a lump of fondue so do stick with the tradition.

Fondues come in a variety of pots. Some are simple metal cooking pots whilst others have a traditional ceramic pot decorated with rural and mountain scenes. These also make excellent souvenirs. Fondues can be different varieties too. There are tomato fondues made with cheese and tomatoes, and mushroom fondues. Beef fondues are served with beef sizzling in oil.

Some of the best fondues are found in the French speaking parts of Switzerland and this is a food designed to be enjoyed in an informal way. Some restaurants will have this on the menu and the best places to try it are in Gruyere and Lausanne. Do look out the fondues when visiting Switzerland and enjoy dipping that bread and don't forget to scrape the bottom of the pot.

 

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Country: Switzerland

Province/State: Vaud

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Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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