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FondueIt was the law in England until the 1990's that any couple getting married had to be given at least one fondue set as a wedding present (*).

The first fondue type recipe was published in a Zurich cookbook in 1699. It called for grated or cut up cheese to be melted with wine and for bread to be dipped into it. Things have changed little since then, although the saucy temptress that is Nigella Lawson adds Kirsch and a clove of garlic, whilst the little scamp that is Jamie Oliver adds shallots, cider and, controversially, blue cheese. I could find no recipe from Saint Delia of Smith for fondue. I think my Google may be broken.

Strangely, fondue was originally a lowlands dish as the poorer people in the mountains couldn't afford the Gruyere cheese needed to make the dish - the dish of the mountain folk was raclette.

In the 1930's the Swiss Cheese Union (Is their CEO called the Big Cheese?) promoted fondue as a method of increasing the sale of cheese. Thereafter, the Swiss used it to promote a sense of national unity and it became associated with all things good, mountainous, healthy and Swiss.

The fondue police have declared two rules. No double dipping and don't eat directly from the dipping fork; rather, transfer the bread and cheese to your plate and use a knife and fork. The rules are quite rightly widely flouted. Watching your partner searching for a lost crouton in the mix can provide hours of amusement. And transferring a super heated semi-fluid to your mouth via a 10-inch stick whilst avoiding delicate lips is the second most extreme sport you will engage in this week.

Apparently, folk law insists that if a female loses her crouton in the mix she has to kiss all the men that are present.

There are two legends of the dish that remain undisputed; immediately after finishing the meal all declare that it was great and they must make it when they return home as they have a fondue set in the loft. Secondly, the word “fondue” is never mentioned again until the next skiing holiday.

(*) I may have made that up.

Monsieur Mogul


Monsieur Mogul – Our man in La Plagne

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author

alone and not those of Ice and Fire Ski and Snowboard Holidays

La Taverne du MonchuSomewhat unexpectedly, Roomie received an invitation for dinner à deux from a new bestie skiing buddy a few nights ago. Dinner for two morphed into dinner for four as mother and grandmother were in town for the festive season. And they weren’t Roomie’s. You win some, you lose some.

Still, on a snowy night the quartet found themselves all cosy toes in La Taverne du Monchu, a restaurant in the centre of Les Coches.

Roomie munched his way through French Onion soup and pan-fried sea bass and declared everything “spot on”. A man of few words is Roomie.

Two in the group shared a cheese fondu which was excellent, whilst the final member of the group ate a pan-fried duck breast with sweet potato fries and pronounced it fabulous.

A couple of bottles of wine were polished off and made everyone seemed funnier by the end of the evening.

Puddings were passed over as the diners were replete.

The restaurant had a super ambiance – it was full of happy well-fed skiers – and the presentation of the food was first class whilst service was swift and attentive.

Monsieur Mogul shared a stale crust with a mountain chuff for that evening’s repas. Hard to do when your nose is pressed firmly against a restaurant window.

So, on the chalet staff night off, La Taverne du Monchu, would make an excellent choice for your evening meal. Best to book and the chalet staff can assist you with this.

Roomie didn’t book and was treated to his evening meal by members of the group.

Monsieur Mogul


Monsieur Mogul – Our man in La Plagne

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author

alone and not those of Ice and Fire Ski and Snowboard Holidays

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