HYDERABAD: What we consider a great party snack today, actually originated from humble beginnings all the way in Switzerland. Wondering what it is? Cheese fondue! This pot of goodness was created by local villagers, who used aged cheese and stale bread to survive the winters when access to fresh food was scarce. As both were difficult to eat, the villagers decided to melt the cheese with some herbs, garlic and wine, and then dipped the stale bread into the mix, which in turn would soften the bread. The combination was so good that it became Switzerland’s national dish!
Which cheese do you move?
When you’re making cheese fondue, spend on high-quality cheese as it makes a world of difference.
The classic fondue
This is for the ones who want to experience what the Swiss discovered and keep it as close to the original recipe. For this, the main cheeses here are Gruyére, Gouda and Fontina. The reason these three cheeses work so well together is because of their distinct tasting notes that make the fondue so delicious. Gruyére is known to have a balanced sweet and salty flavour, while also capable of aging well. Gouda gives you a mild woody and smoky flavour and Fontina is a mix of sweet and savoury. These cheeses can be used individually to make a fondue and don’t necessarily need to be in this combination. To enhance the flavour, you can add some wine and seasoning as well. Traditionally, white wine is used along with some garlic, cornstarch and herbs.
The options are vast and fundamentally boil down to personal preference and what you enjoy eating in general. So, here are a few options that you can try.
Cured meats: A nice salty prosciutto, spicy salami or smoky chorizo would be excellent meats to complement your cheese fondue. These would entice those who enjoy a gamut of flavours.
Breads: This is as traditional as it can get. While choosing bread, a crusty one would be highly recommended as it would be able to soak up all that cheese!
Steamed vegetables: Using broccoli, carrots, cauliflower or even potatoes would add some freshness to the mix. Plus, some healthy crunch for texture never hurt anybody!
Meatballs: For most people, meatballs are associated with pasta, but these actually make a fantastic accompaniment to a cheese fondue.
Apples and pears: If you’ve seen these on a cheese platter, there’s no way that they would come as a surprise. However, using Granny Smith apples does the trick, thanks to their crispy texture and tart flavour.In a nutshell, if you’re having a little get-together at home this festive season, a cheese fondue would be nothing short of brie-lliant!
(Vishal Fernandes is a profound business traveller and a widely recognised luxury lifestyle blogger)