Elvis ate macaroni and cheese at home whenever possible. He
loved it homemade, thick, gooey, and made with American cheese.
From the Swiss Alps to American suburbs, fondue proves
it’s always hip to dip
Fondue headlined suburban American theme parties in the 1960s, then pretty quickly fell out of favor, as fads so often do. Americans briefly rediscovered the communal meal in the early ’90s, albeit with a more modern and health-conscious approach to the recipes. But if everything old eventually becomes new again, that fondue pot set you stashed in the basement might be due to come out for another round.
The idea of fondue likely calls to mind the style that originated during the 1800s in the Swiss Alps as a way to use hardened cheese and stale bread during the winter months. Deriving from the French verb fondre, meaning “to melt,” fondue was a classic peasant dish made fashionable across the country after World War I by the Swiss Cheese Union. French gastronome Brillat-Savarin mentioned fondue in his 19th-century writings.
But fondue-like dishes originated in cultures around the world, such as Asian hot pots in which diners cook chunks of meat, seafood or vegetables in a communal pot of bubbling oil or steaming broth. Mexico’s queso fundido resembles the cheesy Swiss dish, though served with tortillas, while bagna cauda in Italy relies on pureed anchovies for texture and flavor and is typically accompanied by vegetables. Chef Konrad Egli of New York’s Chalet Suisse Restaurant gets the credit for chocolate fondue, which he developed in 1964 to support a marketing effort by Swiss company Toblerone.
Traditional Swiss fondue combines Emmentaler and/or Gruyere cheese and wine, melted in a communal pot. A cherry brandy called kirsch gets added to the mixture, which becomes a dip for pieces of stale bread and crusts. In Switzerland, cooks in different regions produce fondue with other local melting cheeses and variations on flavorings.
But they all agree that the best bite develops at the bottom of the pot during the course of the meal. The crusty slab of cheese, called le religieuse, gets reverentially scrapped off by fondue connoisseurs and shared around the table.
Those same connoisseurs (and hopefully any good cheese fondue host) will tell you to drink white wine, kirsch or herbal tea with your meal — and nothing else. Those in the know say beer or juice or even water can cause the cheese in your belly to coagulate, which doesn’t sound like a pleasant end to the meal.
Chocolate fondue might seem like a foregone conclusion, but the editors at Bon Appetit don’t recommend the high-cholesterol combination. A few slices of fresh pineapple make a much better choice for dessert because the natural enzymes help with digestion.
You don’t even need a special fondue pot to serve a meal for family or friends. A slow cooker makes a convenient substitute and keeps the cheese warm. You can also melt the cheese in a double boiler on an electric hot plate, or prepare it on the stove and transfer it to a chaffing dish.
A quick breakfast recipe found on BBCgoodfood
This combines all the best ingredients of a traditional English breakfast in one frying pan, with no need to chop anything.
This is how the Gudbrand’s Valley cheese was born approximately
150 years ago
The brown cheese is a distinctive Norwegian product with a long tradition. Sweet, rich, a slight taste of caramel and an unshakeable place in Norwegian hearts for generations.
The brown cheese originates from Solbråsetra in the Gudbrand’s Valley
Referrences to whey cheeses was mentioned already in 1646 in Christer Jenssøn’s Glossary as “quite lovely” but brown cheese as we know it today was born in 1863 on Solbråsetra.
It started with some rowdy goats. The farm owner on Solbråsetra thought his goats made too much mischief, and would therefore not have them on his farm.
Anne Hov mixed cream and whey
So in the absence of goat milk, the farmer’s daughter Anne Hov attempted to make cheese by mixing cream with the whey mixture, instead of goat’s milk.
That using valuable cream to make cheese instead of butter, was by some seen as a waste, but it was only until they tasted the results. It tasted lovely!
The Gudbrand’s Valley mixed cheese
When Anne Hov a few years later married a man owning his own farm, she developed the recipe further. Unlike her father Anne’s husband found that goats were great animals, so this time she perfected the recipe by adding a little goat’s milk as well as cream.
Anne Hov’s new brown cheese recipe was a hit and quickly spread to neighboring farms, and within a few years the rest of the country was talking about the gorgeous “Gudbrand’s Valley mixed cheese”.
The most Norwegian of the Norwegian
In 1908 the first industrial steam dairy making brown cheese was built and today, 150 years later the brown cheese represents the most Norwegian of the Norwegian.
So thanks to Anne Hov! And thank God for rowdy goats.
Text and images from tine.no
A recipe for homemade cheese found on about.com/food/
If you want to make a very simple version of homemade goat cheese, this recipe using lemon juice and goat’s milk is the one. The acidity in the lemon juice thickens the milk and makes soft curds form. Once the liquid is drained away from the curds, viola, you have a basic but tasty version of homemade goat cheese.
White vinegar can also be used to make homemade goat cheese, although the lemon flavor is slightly more pleasing in the finished product.