Monday Food Moment – Chocolate Fondue

Let’s have dessert

One of the fun inventions of the Swiss is fondue, that do-it-yourself method of communal eating that can’t help but get everybody talking and generally enjoying themselves.

Chocolate-Fondue
Chocolate Fondue

The earliest known recipe for cheese fondue as we know it today 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 19th century, referred to a preparation including 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”. 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.

In addition to cheese fondue, there are broth (“fondue chinoise”), oil (“fondue bourguignonne”) and chocolate fondue.  The chocolate fondue in this photo is something that I enjoyed a number of years ago at a restaurant that specializes in desserts (that is a good thing!).  It was delicious, particularly the home-made marshmallows!

Which fondue do you enjoy most?

Technical Details

This image was captured with a DroidX using the camera+ app.

Author: jansenphoto

A Fresh Perspective Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment. Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael. My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals. Universal Connections My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation. This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections. Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client. And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!

6 thoughts on “Monday Food Moment – Chocolate Fondue”

  1. Yum, yum, yum! It’s been years since I’ve enjoyed a chocolate fondue but they’re the best! Great photo. Have you tried a cheese fondue Frank? They’re also pretty good.

  2. YUM – definitely chocolate fondue is my favorite. I went to a retreat in Northern NY, in this beautiful Cinderella-like castle, where they had a fountain of chocolate fondue with strawberries surrounding it. I ate that before lunch!! 🙂

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