As the weather turns chillier the idea of fondue seems better than a few months ago.
When it was already hot outside, the idea of hot fondue may not have seemed so appealing, though I can recall seeing a crock of fondue on nearly every table in August at the Artisanal Bistro! Part of the attraction to fondue is probably because it is so primordial, like a baby having its first food at body temperature milk. Warming up cheese releases more of those aromatic compounds which are so endearing as well as delicious on the palate.
At this time we have several cheese candidates for delicious fondues, not only the Alpine types but also cheddars, pressed sheep milk cheeses, even blues. The classic fondues call for the aged pressed cow milk cheeses such as Gruyère, Comté, Tarentaise and Fontina d’Aosta or Vacherin Fribourgeois (both of which claim to be the original fondue cheese). The cheeses that work well for fondues also work pretty well for making raclettes and vice versa, such as Val Bagner or Raclette itself. All of these cheeses are so tasty on their own that I see little reason to go to the trouble melting them down; just enjoy them at room temperature.
Yet again, fondues and raclettes are very nice, especially as the weather turns colder. Part of their desirability is the opioid peptides cheese contains, peptides that help us deal with stress and pain (as in the stresses and pains of cold weather).
Fondue is fairly simple to make, and it requires just a few ingredients. We have a fondue mix ready to go; all you need is a little white wine and a crisp baguette. The mix is shredded and mixed, ready to melt down in the wine, and then enjoy. One of our more popular hands-on classes is Fondue. In this class you learn how to make different amazing fondues that are great for entertaining.
The fondue has regained an appreciation in this country after it was nearly forgotten. It could have become extinct due to the inferior quality of many of the cheeses we had available. No wonder they were only so popular! Now we have superior fondue and raclette cheese types that are being crafted here in the U.S., as well as access to many inimitable old world styles.
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