Sunday, May 22, 2005

Fondues and Don'ts

Three Cheese Fondue Posted by Hello

Who doesn't love a cheese fondue? Well, the lactose intolerant perhaps. I had a six-person fondue party a while back, as you can see in my glamour photo above, and I love fondue for its social aspects as much as for its warm, gooey yumminess. So, I encourage you to DO a fondue. The recipe I used this last time was a variation on the classic fondue that included a third cheese (in our case, havarti, but the recipe also recommends a cheese called Doux de Montagne or Vacherin Fribourgeois), as well as the addition of apple brandy. But here's a DON'T that I learned this last time: try not to pre-melt your fondue mixture too far ahead. We had ours sitting over very low heat for almost an hour before we were ready to dip in (while we ate our salad starter), and this resulted in extreme stringiness! This was rather entertaining, actually. At one point, it seemed like the whole pot of cheese was just one big never-ending string! Luckily for us, my Cheeseboy (Here he comes to save the day!) was there to rescue us from the Cheese Monster (and you thought the Blob was scary?). With the addition of a little more lemon juice and some vigorous stirring over the stovetop, he gave our fondue a manageable consistency. So DO have extra lemons around. DON'T plan on a heavy dessert after, no matter how tempted you are to do a chocolate fondue as well (unless this is all after a huge snowshoe hike through the mountains, for example. I did the Fondue Tour at Cypress one winter and it was a lot of fun). We went with small scoops of homemade lemon sorbet served on ginger-molasses tuile "cups." DO invite 5 other people - six seems to be an ideal number for a cheese fondue. If you are looking for a more intimate evening, I recommend a chocolate fondue for two. And if you're looking for a chocolate fondue for two at a restaurant, I heartily recommend having it at Bin 942 on West Broadway, where they make their own wonderful mini randomly shaped hot little cinnamon doughnuts (think "Those Little Doughnuts" at PNE, only even better!) to dip in, as well serving a beautiful assortment of fruit and mini marshmallows. The rest of your dinner there should be pretty darn yummy too, but save room for dessert. I'll do a full review of one of the Bins one of these days. They are among my favourite restaurants of the city. Also, I found a great little bubble tea place in Kerrisdale called the Orange Corner (2257 W. 41st. Ave.) that does a nice little chocolate fondue too. The bubble tea there was quite good too.

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