Cooking Night Dec, 5, 2012
ondue. Swiss, French, and even Italian by origin, it consists of dishes of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a portable stove (réchaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. That is fondue’s simplest definition. But the act of gathering for fondue — a dining ceremony from which I have, until recently, remained completely unexposed — takes on an entirely other meaning. Warm cauldrons of cheese and chocolate call friends and family near. And with each dip into either pot, one draws back a tasty, tangy mouthful, lingering in an air of lighthearted conversation and whimsy. One can only seek out both elements — warmed cheese and conversation — again and again until both the words and réchaud have come to quiet satisfaction.