Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Surprising Facts About Fondue

Fondue is a popular dish for romantic evenings as well as social gatherings. The communal nature of the pot makes it perfect for feeding a larger group of people, particularly if you are just looking for a snack. Most people know the basics of fondue, such as that it is a Swiss dish involving melted cheese and you traditionally dip crispy, aged bread in it to enjoy. You may not realize how interesting this dish truly is, however.

It Is Centuries Old

You’ll find various histories of fondue, with many saying it was invented during the 18th century so the poor had something to eat. This history says that it gave people a delicious way to use up old, hard cheese and stale bread. If you look back even further, however, you will see a very basic version of fondue from the late part of the 17th century. There is a Swiss cookbook from this time period that says you should have cheese along with wine and some bread to dip.

You Can Vary The Cheeses

Most traditional fondues will rely on either Emmental or Gruyere cheese as those are the classic options. In reality, however, the exact “traditional” recipe varies greatly by region. The Neuchateloise uses those cheeses, while the Innerschweiz version adds a bit of bright Sprinz to the mix. There is also an Appenzeller version using Appenzeller cheese. This means that unless you want to stick to a classic recipe, you can use any cheese, or combination of cheeses, that will create the right melt. You don’t even have to stick to the traditional bread for dipping; try vegetables or meats.

Flirting Traditions

It seems obvious that it is a bad idea to drop your bread into the fondue pot, especially since the pot is communal, but few people realize there are actually traditions that dictate what happens if you make this mistake. Women who drop their bread into the pot must give their neighbors a kiss while men who drop something in the pot have to buy everyone a round of drinks.

Ideal Beverage

Those unfamiliar with fondue may simply think that you drink your favorite beverage with the meal. The truth, however, is a bit more interesting as there is a great debate about what to drink. Some people opt for white wine, while others say black tea is the better choice. Each has its own explanation as fondue is already made with white wine, so a bit more doesn’t hurt and black tea can help your digestion.

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