Couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me over for a fondue evening! We were 8 people just enjoying a nice evening with great food and chill music. We had the most amazing fondue I have ever tasted. If you are interested in knowing how to prepare one – well, too bad, cause this blog is about experiencing Swissness and not about cooking, but I can post a link at the end to a cooking site.
So after the meal, I wanted to know about the history of fondue and how it appeared in the Swiss culture and here is what I found out. I searched on Google and I found some interesting stories, so let me bring some insights.
It goes back as far as 800 and 725 BC, then in the 17th century it was actually mentioned in a cookbook as a mixture of cheese and wine. But officially the modern version of fondue – cheese and wine in a pot over an open flame – appeared in the late 1800s in the region around Geneva and in 1930 the Swiss Cheese Union claimed it to be the official dish of Switzerland. It is mostly made of gruyère – one of the most famous Swiss cheeses and white wine with a splash of kirsch – cheery brandy. If you ask me – cherry vodka – quite strong.
But nobody really knows how did this dish actually appear. Was it the cookbook found in the 17th century? Well, perhaps, but the recipe in the book states that cheese was cooked with wine and nothing was mentioned about how to eat it and with what. Nowadays, you can dip anything in it – from bread through different veggies and meat to fruits – especially apples. It goes with everything and everything tastes better.
I wanted to know about this, since I live here and it’s a shame that I didn’t know until now. There are multiple places where you can try the real traditional fondue and it’s totally worth it. If you have never tried it – you should!
It’s rival is the raclette, but I am not a fan, so I won’t tell you about it. But what I will tell you is that I am buying one of the big fondue sets when I get my own permanent place, so I can invite people over. It’s a great idea for dinner with friends and if you want a romantic diner with candles and everything for your special ones – well, buy a fondue set for two 😉 Quite inexpensive!
Have a good one! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me! Til my next adventures!