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Fondue doesn’t have to be the thing of 70’s dinner parties and can be a fun and more importantly communal dish for winter eating. As we encourage all things in moderation, lets not think of the calories but more about the cheese!

Although thought to have been brought to the fore in the 1930’s, fondue as we know it is a relatively new invention and one possibly crested as a marketing stunt by the Swiss Cheese Union .  Origins are thought to date back to the 1600 in Zurich but by the 1950’s fondue referred more to the idea of a communal pot that may hold oil or chocolate or cheese rather than specifically just cheese.

Variations of rather an extreme nature have been listed to include Brillat-Savarin’s 1834 recipe that was something between scrambled eggs with cheese and a cheese soufflé. Variations included cream (‘à la genevoise’) in addition to eggs; and also what we now call ‘raclette’ (‘fondue valaisanne’).  The tradition or at least the fun of the fondue remained fashionable and fondue continued to be promoted aggressively in Switzerland, with slogans like “La fondue crée la bonne humeur” ‘fondue creates a good mood’ and (1981) “Fondue isch guet und git e gueti Luune” ‘fondue is good and creates a good mood’–abbreviated as “figugegl”.

This got us thinking here at Farro about some rather crazy ideas for a cheese fondue that could include any number of flavours and textures such as truffle or pesto, flavoured oils…and that the items being dipped into also could be more elaborate from stuffed olives to cured meats. The world is our fondue pot!

So we decided that June was a good time to not be ashamed of that extra layer of fat we needed to keep us warm and that a good fondue was on the cards.

Cautious to be keeping to tradition to some extent we looked into the ideal etiquette of a fondue participant:

  • If one loses their bread in the pot they have to kiss their neighbor or buy a round of drinks
  • No double dipping is tolerated
  • The dipping fork is just for transportation of the dipped food to the plate –not the mouth
  • Wine is an essential addition to the meal but a good shot of a digestive won’t go astray either to help that cheesy feeling

You can create your own mix for a classic fondue you will need Gruyere, Emmental, Comte and or Beaufort. Some recipes suggest a touch of strong and tangy Swiss Appenzeller as well, which we definitely approve of as well.

If you cant be bothered with all that grating, then this month we are running a special on ready to go fondue pack direct from France, tested by some of here at Farro to ensure the best possible texture and tang and fat tummy feeling and we give it very high marks for convenience as well as taste.