It’s hard to imagine a more appealing evening than a night with friends around the fondue pot, dipping chunks of bread into bubbling cheese. At least, that’s my opinion. Many may disagree, but certainly not most people in Switzerland, where fondue is the national dish, established as such by the Swiss Cheese Union in the 1930s in an effort to promote the consumption of cheese at home. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the fad became a craze in the United States.
Originating in Switzerland as a way to use up hardened cheese, fondue was a classic dish of peasants. From the French word fondre, meaning “to melt,” the traditional fondue is a mixture of Emmenthaler and Gruyère cheeses with wine or cherry brandy. The combination of cheeses, wines, garlic and herbs softened the stale breads of 18th-century Swiss villagers, fortifying them through the colder months while keeping waste minimal. Today, varieties made with different blends of cheeses are also popular.
In Switzerland, neutrality is king, except when it comes to fondue, with each region claiming the best formula. Whichever combinations of cheeses and wines one prefers, there are a few classically Swiss rules for how best to enjoy the dish. It is said fondue should only be paired with white wine or hot tea. According to The Wall Street Journal, other libations can cause an indigestible ball of cheese in the stomach. The purest of fondue eaters don’t mix greens or salad with the dairy, but it is okay to enjoy with cured meats. Also according to tradition, whoever first loses his bread in the pot of cheese buys a round for the table.
To properly prepare fondue, rub the inside of the caquelon, or fondue pot, with a cut garlic clove. Heat white wine slightly with cornstarch and add grated cheese, stirring until melted. Top it off with a bit of kirsch. Keep it warm enough to stay smooth and warm, not too hot and not scorching.
Over the years, the tradition of fondue has adapted to include broths, chocolate and oils. Meat fondue, or fondue Bourguignonne, was born in Burgundy, France; fieldworkers rarely had a break for meals and would keep a boiling pot of oil in the fields, cooking pieces of meat as the day carried on. A lighter version, or Chinese fondue, features meat and vegetables cooked in a shared pot of broth. Everyone cooks his or her own food, with the blend of tastes from the various ingredients flavoring the broth. In the mid-20th century, dessert fondue was born in the United States. While the exact origin remains unclear, dipping fruits, pastries, coconut, marshmallows and more in melted chocolate has become a tasty tradition in itself.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.