By mid twentieth century, the name "fondue" had come to mean cut-up pieces of food (bread, meat, fruit, vegetables) served at the communal table with a hot liquid dip such as melted cheese or chocolate in a chafing dish. Generally speaking, fondue was first promoted as a Swiss national dish.
It's a great get-together delight for six to eight people, each of whom have their own long-stemmed fork. The specialty fork is for picking up a small piece of food, dipping it in the sauce, holding it over the pot a few seconds, and then putting it directly to the plate. One doesn't eat from the fondue fork, and one doesn't double dip.
Basic Cheese Fondue
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer
- 2 Cu Swiss cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 t flour
- 3/4 Chablis or sauterne
- 1/4 t salt
- dash pepper
- 2 T cognac
- a clove of garlic
- cut-up pieces of French bread
- Toss cheese with flour.
- Rub medium saucepan with peeled garlic clove, then throw garlic away.
- Pour in wine.
- Heat till almost boiling, then add cheese.
- Stir until melted.
- Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, cognac.
When fondue starts to bubble, turn off heat and transfer sauce to a cheese fondue pot.
Keep warm with burner. Serve right away.
If cheese sauce becomes too thick, add a little heated wine.