A Fondue Party is ideal for an informal evening with friends. This popular dish comes from Switzerland where villagers in the mountains had to rely on local produce, like cheese, wine and home baked bread during the long winter month. The name fondue comes from the French word "fondre", which means to melt or blend. Fondue meaning melted cheese in wine. You will need a chafing dish over a spirit stove and long fondue forks. Place the heated fondue dish on the spirit stove in the center of your table and hand out a fork to all your guests. Everyone spears a piece of bread onto the long fork, dips it into the fondue, turns it once or twice before eating it. In no time the ice will be broken and the party in full swing with everyone trying not to drop the bread form the fork. The custom is that anyone who looses a piece of bread in the dish must supply a bottle of wine. Even the experts find it hard, especially after a few glasses of Kirsch. Fondue Parties in Switzerland are a lot of fun with its warm atmosphere.
Lots of other delicious variations exist now, eg Fondue Bourgignonne made with Fillet Steak accompanied with Mustard, Tatar, Bearnaise, Tomato or Curry sauce and so on.
Swiss Cheese Fondue:
Ideally a rustic wine and small glasses of Kirsch and a crispy salad are served with this. Suitable for Vegetarians.
350g (12oz) Emmenthal Cheese, grated
350g (12oz) Gruyère Cheese, grated
45cl (3/4 pint) dry white wine
3 tablespoons of Kirsch
3-4 flat teaspoons of corn starch
grated nutmeg to taste
1 clove of garlic
pepper to taste
crusty firm bread, like French bread, cut into bite size pieces
rub the fondue pan with garlic
pour in the wine and heat very gently over the cooker
when hot add a small amount of cheese at a time, stirring continuously
bring it gently to bubbling point
add the kirsch mixed with the corn starch
let it simmer for another 3 minutes, stirring continuously
now place it on your fondue stand with a lit flame and serve
Tip: corn starch is a white type thickening flour and not the yellow maize variety