In this part of Europe, fondue is not relegated to kitschy Alpine-themed restaurants or 1970’s sitcoms. Instead, it is a very serious winter tradition to be served with fendant, a Swiss white wine.
The earliest recorded fondue recipe was from a 1699 Swiss cookbook. However, the recipe was a bit different – it called for eggs, cream and/or truffles. Hm. Eggs disappeared from recipes by the 19th century, around the time when pricey cheeses like Gruyère (a valuable export item too expensive for peasants to afford) appeared. Today, fondue is most often made with Gruyere and Emmenthal.
The Swiss Cheese Union popularized fondue in the 1930’s in order to increase cheese consumption. The PR included recipes and a direct marketing campaign of sending fondue sets to military regiments and event organizers.
Make sure you mind your fendant consumption and hold on tight! Swiss tradition says that if a man loses his bread in the pot, he buys drinks all around; if a woman does, she must kiss her neighbors.
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