Liquid Swiss cheese Fondue is known by gourmets from all over the world. The name pronounced like [fahn-DOO]. The word fondue is derived from the French word "fondre" which means "melt".
These dish dates back to the 18th century. At those times both cheese and wines were important industries in Switzerland. Fondue is a warm cheese dish originated, as it was already said, in Switzerland and more specifically in the Canton of Neuchatel. The dish includes at least two varieties of cheeses that are melted with wine and a bit of flour and served communally out of pot called a "caquelon". Each guest should spear a cube of bread with the help of the long forks, then the bread is dipped into the cheese and eaten.
No-one can define which component of fondue cheese takes the first place. Each component plays an import role. As fondue cheese consists of at least two varieties of cheese many different sopts may be used for its making. Fondue cheese made in "traditional" Swiss style usually is a combination of two cheeses, Gruyere and Emmenthaler. Why these two cheeses and not the other types? It is said that they are combined because either cheese alone would produce either a mixture that would be too sharp or too bland. For melting most commonly dry white wine is used. It helps to keep the cheese from the direct heat as it melts as well as to add flavor. In other case the Kirsch (a clear cherry brandy) may be added if the cheese itself is too young to produce the desired tartness.
There is, actually, many varieties of "traditional" style. In fact each canton in Switzerland has their own "traditional" style fondue. Let us make a list.
We start from Fribourg. In this area the fondue combines Gruyere with Vacherin a Fondue. The wine and Kirsch is added not in all cases. They are only added if the cheese is not fully ripened. Ifthere is no wine mixed with cheeses, guests dip their bread in plum schnapps, then into the fondue.
In Geneva there is another fondue mixture. Among inhabitants of Geneva it is common to use not two, but three cheeses, Gruyere, Emmental and Walliser Bergkase. A regional addition may include chopped morel mushrooms.
If we take Glarus, we will find out that they first made a roux of butter, flour and milk.Then Gruyere and Schabzieger cheeses are added.
Another variant is used in Eastern Switzerland. The two cheeses which they mix are Appenzeller and Vacherin a Fondue. They are combined with a dry cider.
In Vaud the only difference lies in fact that the locals roast and chop garlic then combine it with Gruyere cheese.
And the last, but not least variant we may find in Neuchatel. They combine two thirds Gruyere and one third Emmental, or a half and half version with Neuchatel wine.
Independently of the region there are some etiquette rules in fondue serving and eating. Given Fondue is a "communal" meal. If you are a guest you shoul follow a few basic guidelines. When going to eat cheese fondue first thing you should do is to spear a piece of bread using a fondue fork and dip it into the pot. Then, twirl the bread cube gently in the cheese to coat it. May be you'll want to let the bread drip a bit before you put it in your mouth. This will allow the excess to drip back in the pot and also allow time for cooling. One important thing to remember: try not to touch the fork with your lips or tongue when you put the bread in your mouth. You know, the fork does go back in the pot and you are not the only one who eats fondue cheese. Alternately you can use a dining fork to slide the bread off the fondue fork then eat it with the 2nd fork. This is probably more cumbersome than necessary.
Another variant of fondue cheese is meat fondue. To eat it spear a piece of meat and plunge it in the hot oil. Wait until the meat is cooked to your liking. Then remove the fork and place it on your plate. To slide the meat off the fondue fork your dining fork should be used. Then use your regular fork to dip the meat in the sauce as desired. And finally eat using your regular dining fork.
These simple rules will help you to feel comfortable at "fondue dinner".
And one more question. Which sort of bread suits the best? A baguette works very well, any crusty French or Italian style breads will do too. When you slice the bread make sure that each piece includes a bit of the crust. The point is that this crust helps keep the bread on the fork after it is placed in the cheese.
So, in a cold winter evening you can afford yourself genuine pleasure - eat fondue cheese with your friends. Now, you know how to do it properly.