Many of us still have our old, original fondue pots from the 70's...usually burnt orange or avocado green in color...to match our appliances and shag carpet, that were incorporated into a heavy, Mediterranean motif. Some are still being found and rescued at garage sales and antique shops, adding to our collection of dust catchers. Why are so many of these originals still around, and why is fondue cooking back in vogue?
There are several main reasons that I can determine off hand. First, fondue cooking was not "new" in the 70's. It's been around for a long time, long before the 70's, origins being from the Swiss and also similar cooking styles in the Orient. Second, fondue cooking is versatile. It can be used for several courses of a meal, from the appetizers through the main course and completed with a delicious dessert.
The main reason, though, that I believe for fondue's regained popularity, is simply that it is fun. It's not just a meal…it's an event! There is nothing like sitting down and "nibbling" your way through a great conversation. Needless to say, of course, it is the conversation that one remembers, not necessarily the food.
While we were in Denver last summer, we ran across a restaurant that serves food only fondue style. We started with appetizers...cheese fondue, with fruit and bread. Then the main course was prepared using bouillon rather than cooking oil...meat and vegetables and very healthy. Then, the dessert was a chocolate delight!
In doing some research, we discovered that some fondue pots are made of cast iron...the ones best used for cheeses and desserts. Hence, because of the cast iron connection, we thought we would include a few recipes in this book to further a custom that has been around for a long time. We have been experimenting with using our smaller Dutch ovens as fondue pots. There are some very tasty sauce mixtures out there these days that are in envelopes, and all you need to add is the sour cream, ketchup, mayo, etc. These sauces make it very easy to have fondue in camp, as an appetizer either in camp or at home, while you are waiting for the rest of your meal to cook or as a quick main course.
We've included just a few recipes here to get you started, and renew your appreciation of this method of cooking. We, too, are experimenting with fondue. But let your creativity be your guide to enjoying this cooking experience and, above all, have fun with it!
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