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11 January 2006

Melts in the Pan, Not in your Hand!

Fondue in the house

Yesterday evening we had friends come over for fondue. In case you missed your "Swiss Food Culture 101" course, fondue is a swiss speciality that consists almost entirely of melted cheese. Basically you put a lot of swiss cheese into a special pot (with a small flame underneath to keep it warm), heat it until it melts and boils, and when all is ready, you put pieces of bread on long forks and dunk them in the cheese. Yummy for cheese lovers, a great idea for cold winter evenings...

Food for cold nights

We don't have too many of those cold winter evenings here in Greece (with about 300 sunshine days each year), but since our flatmate brought a fondue set over from Xmas break, we had to give it a try. The weather is currently suitable. There are pre-made "fondue mix" boxes for sale, but that was not what I wanted. The recipe is quite simple (you can likely find it on the Web).

Finding swiss cheese in Athens

The hard part is finding real swiss cheese. We went to find some of them at the Carrefour near here in the Αμπελόκηποι (Ambelokipi) area. That's one big super market and for swiss cheeses they have Emmentaler and Gruyère, which is just what we needed (Vacherin or Appenzeller would have been other contenders, but they did not have those). And don't be fooled by cheeses with the same name from other countries. Mary was quite surprised of how different Emmentaler from Switzerland is from the "fakes".

Stir it up!

Then our friends arrived and it was time to get everything ready. Preparing the fondue naturally fell on me. I must confess that it was the first time that I made fondue myself. It wasn't too hard, just following procedures and a lot of stirring. I knew immediately when it started to smell right. No mistakes, it reminded me of childhood days.

Eating the fondue was fun too. We told our guests that there is a penalty for dropping a piece of bread in the cheese: The girls have to kiss all the boys in the room, the boys will have to pay a bottle of wine. The result was that some of the girls dipped their bread very carefully into the cheese. Either us boys are to be considered very ugly or else those girls have just no sense for a bit of risk.

Burning hot

We also observed the warming effect of the fondue. After a short while people were dropping their warm sweaters and rolling up their sleeves. After a short while the fondue tasted even better, when the cheese on the ground of the pan starts to burn in a little bit. Our diehard cheese fans went to full speed on that moment. Yummy food that melts in the pan.

Posted by betabug at 22:20 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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