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A culinary blast from the past -- just ‘Fon-do’it

A culinary blast from the past -- just ‘Fon-do’it this winter

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From left - Antonia Wood, Todd Schmidt and Estela Faninoz sample cheese fondue.

Media release from Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

31 July 2008

A culinary blast from the past -- just ‘Fon-do’it this winter

A Queenstown restaurant is bringing back a 1970s culinary ‘blast from the past’ and hopes it will prove a winner for skiers and snowboarders this winter.

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside’s ‘Elements’ restaurant is celebrating all things winter by introducing fondues to their new seasonal menu.

Diners who remember the craze first time around – or those keen to try it out for the first time – can choose from the classic cheese fondue served with a selection of breads ($48 for two) or a meat lovers’ treat ($64 for two).

Couples looking for a romantic fondue ‘à deux’ could choose to go with a decadent chocolate dessert fondue with fresh cut fruit and marshmallows ($25 for two).

As an added bonus, season pass holders will only have to flash their ski pass to receive a complimentary glass of mulled wine to go with their cheesy treat.

“Hopefully this is a flashback that will start a new fondue frenzy,” says General Manager Jim Moore. “Fondue is perfect for cold winter nights and the communal nature of the dish brings people together for some fun. While cheese fondue is the most common, other pot and dipping ingredients can also be used which is why we thought the dessert fondue might be a winner as not many people can go past chocolate.

“There’s a bit of etiquette involved in eating a fondue – some “fon-do’s” and “fon-don’ts”, if you will,” chuckles Jim.

Fondue etiquette – some “fon-do’s” and “fon-don’ts”

1. Remember you are eating from a communal dish so try not to touch your lips or tongue to a fork that goes back into the pot.

2. Skewer food onto your fondue fork so that the tines stick out slightly. That way, when you dunk it you won’t lose it in the pot.

3. Remove the cooked bread or meat from the fork before eating to avoid burning your mouth

4. Wine is the traditional match with fondue

5. Tradition has it that if a woman drops food off her fondue fork into the pot she must kiss all the men at the table and if a man drops food off his fork into the pot he must buy another bottle of wine!

The word fondue comes from the French word fondre, meaning ‘to melt’ or ‘to blend’. Fondue was introduced centuries ago in Europe as a food preservation method and evolved into a popular communal way of sharing food. Towns developed their own local varieties and recipes based on locally available cheeses, wines and other ingredients.

Fondue was wildly popular during the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, becoming the dish for dinner parties and, as a result, a popular wedding gift.


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