TASTE: Fond of Fondue

By Rebecca Dumais |

Fondue was all the rage in the 1960 – and even into the 1970s. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember gathering around the fondue pot for a leisurely meal.

If you didn’t experience this type of slow-moving, relaxed and deliciously cheesy way of eating back in the day, the following tips and recipe on page 86 will get you started.

While there are many recipes for cheese fondue, Chris Wood, owner of Farmhouse Artisan Cheese in Oakville likes the half-and-half kind.

This melty mixture is a combination of Gruyere and Appenzeller. “Or you could do half Gruyere and half Emmental,” she suggests, noting that both fondue and raclette are best using good Switzerland cheeses that melt well.

Having the proper fondue equipment is a must – the pot with a flame/warmer, and of course the fondue forks. Aim for 200 grams of cheese per person.

Some recipe variations call for garlic, or perhaps a pinch of cayenne pepper, Wood says. You can also add Kirsch (a cherry liqueur). Once you’ve decided on your ingredients, Wood says it’s easy to cook on the stovetop (don’t scorch the sauce) and then put the fondue into the pot and place it over the warmer.

Next, you need some food to dip into. There are traditional foods to serve with fondue, but you can always try experimenting with anything you’d like to be coated in cheese. “Typically, it would be served with a crusty baguette,” says Wood. “Even day-old baguette because you want the cubes to be a little bit dry. It works better and it’s more traditional.”

Along with the cubed bread and vegetables, Wood recommends cocktail onions and gherkins – these can help cut the richness.

Any meats that are to accompany the meal should be cured.

Regardless of what cheeses you use or what you dip into the fondue, remember that it’s a faux pas to lose your food in the pot. “You may be designated to do the dishes,” Wood laughs.