Melty, gooey cheese laced with alcohol — fondue is the perfect thing for a winter’s night. So when I was invited to attend the Spring Street Cheese Cellar‘s fondue evening, I spent the next couple of weeks bragging about it to my friends (and especially my housemate, who loves cheese so much she would eat it for every meal if she could).
The cheese cellar (in the basement of Spring Street Grocers in the CBD) is a veritable Aladdin’s cave full of delicious cheeses from around the world. A separate area full of tables hosts parties and cheese-tasting events, like the fondue evening.
The invitation got me so excited I dressed up in red and white in honour of Switzerland, home of fondue:
“Think about a little chalet high up in the Swiss Alps after a day skiing the freshly fallen powder, sitting by a crackling fire and tucking into a rich molten pot of cheese fondue to warm your cockles. OK – so no snow downstairs, just our gorgeous cellar, a couple of long convivial tables and our first annual Fondue night.”
After ringing a genuine cowbell he got in Switzerland, award-winning head cheesemonger Anthony Femia (and friend of mine) discussed a bit of the history of cheese and fondue — explaining that it’s not the 1970s swill you might be thinking of.
Then we got stuck in to the fondue-making. How to make fondue: First, rub the fondue pot with garlic and pour in some wine; then fish out (most of) the garlic and add in three different types of amazing Swiss cheeses (with a little cornstartch). Let it melt as you stir in a figure-8 motion, before adding in Kirsch (cherry Schnapps) and a little paprika.
Spear bread, or the selection of potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower, and chomp away to your heart’s content — giving the odd stir every how and then. And then drop in an egg. What’s that? Yeah, you heard me. It’s part of the ‘la religieuse‘ bit at the end, which also consists of eating the slightly harder cheese on the bottom of the pan. It reminded me and my dining companions a lot of shabu shabu, the never-ending Japanese hotpot. Who knew fondue could provide so many courses?
Want to experience your own fondue-making heaven? Stop by to say hi to Anthony (tell him we sent ya) and he’ll suggest which ones to buy. Or keep an eye out on our calendar for the next cheese evening. As for me, I’m so into fondue I’m saving up to visit my Swiss friends…