Do You Fondue?
I haven’t raved about it much (if at all) on the blog, but I am, to put it lightly, absolutely wild about fondue. Whenever I discover a restaurant with fondue of any kind–savory, sweet, pricey, cheap, whatever–I make an immediate phone call.
“Hey,” says I.
“Hey!” says Foodie Friend.
“So there’s this new place I want to check out.”
“Have you read any reviews?” She asks suspiciously.
“They have fondue,” I reply matter-of-factly, the thought of that pot-of-cheese (or chocolate, or oil, or…) as good as a pretty triad of Michelin stars and a Zagat 30 in my mind.
I first encountered fondue after trekking for hours up a frozen mountain, so no wonder it’s made such an impression on me. …okay, okay, it was after perhaps forty minutes of trekking up a ski slope, but it was cold! And the snowshoes were ill-fitting! And
the air was thin! I’m lazy! Regardless of just how manly and trying this journey was, it definitely made me hungry; stepping into an elegant, nearly-empty restaurant tucked away alongside a Utah green run and smelling rich melted cheese didn’t help much. If biting into the first slice of apple and tasting the savory cheese as it gave way to crisp tartness was a revelation; tasting the first slice of banana dipped into melted chocolate was almost erotic, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Problem is, you can’t just up and make fondue. Unlike, say, guacamole, it’s not just about the freshest ingredients, a bowl, and some tools. You need a double boiler, probably a portable burner, a bunch of those goofy skinny forks that look like the brain picker out of Total Recall…it requires aforethought, is my point, and devoted readers may be realizing I’m not a master of that particular skill.
But I’m trying anyway, because of this recipe: Fondue Royale.
Oh yeah, you read that right. Truffles and Champagne. Adapted from the long out-of-print Fondue Cookbook by Ed Callahan (apparently they were nuts about this stuff in 1968), it looks right up my alley, possibly even up my driveway and into my front hall.
Whichever you choose, enjoy it, and be sure those Total Recall forks only stab into the food!
-Jim is strangely unimpressed by chocolate waterfalls