La Fondue

Serving Fine Alpine Cuisine in the Heart of the High Sierra

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Fall, Fondue, Wine, and You!

Posted on September 9, 2019 at 6:00 PM


Ahh, the fall season.  It reminds us of the crisp fall days in Switzerland where fondue dinners orginated and were the norm during the change of the seasons, and year-round, too.


This season, come on up to Tahoe to enjoy what the locals' call the "Quiet Season" when the golf courses still in full swing, the trees turn their magnificent colors, hiking is "the thing to do every day," and the crisp fall air just begs for a night enjoying fondue with your family and you!


For our fall blog, we thought we'd turn back time and give you a little history about the dish that has made La Fondue so popular for so many years.  To do so, we're now sharing the official WikiPedia history of this famous dish!


The earliest known recipe for the modern form of cheese fondue comes from a 1699 book published in Zurich, under the name "Käss mit Wein zu kochen", "to cook cheese with wine". It calls for grated or cut-up cheese to be melted with wine, and for bread to be dipped in it.


However, the name "cheese fondue", until the late nineteenth century, referred to a dish composed of eggs and cheese, as in la Chapelle's 1735 Fonduë de Fromage, aux Truffes Fraiches; it was something between scrambled eggs with cheese and a cheese soufflé. Brillat-Savarin wrote in 1834 that it is "nothing other than scrambled eggs with cheese".[11] Variations included cream ("à la genevoise") and truffles ("à la piémontaise") in addition to eggs, as well as what is now called "raclette" ("fondue valaisanne").


The first known recipe for the modern cheese fondue under that name, with cheese and wine but no eggs, was published in 1875, and was already presented as a Swiss national dish.Despite its modern associations with rustic mountain life, it was a town-dweller's dish from the lowlands of western, French-speaking, Switzerland: rich cheese like Gruyère was a valuable export item which peasants could not afford to eat.


The introduction of cornstarch ("Maïzena") to Switzerland in 1905 made it easier to make a smooth and stable emulsion of the wine and cheese, and probably contributed to the success of fondue.

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