Last weekend my cousin got married in Lausanne, Switzerland – quite possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been. As we were not part of the wedding party, we had plenty of time to explore the countryside, which included the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The vines of the Lavaux Vinyard can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monks controlled the area.
I made sure we did not miss the chance to see the Medieval town of Gruyere…yes where the cheese comes from.
We decided it was necessary to indulge in some of this cheese in true Swiss fashion – raclette and fondue. Raclette, which comes from the French word racler meaning “to scrape”, is a dish in which a large piece of cheese is heated up and as it starts to melt, diners scrape some off onto a potato, bread, or dried meat.
Fondue really needs no introduction, but if you are unfamiliar, imagine a pot of cheesy heaven into which you can dip (or dredge) cubes of crusty bread. The only downside to making fondue at home is the necessity of a fondue pot. But if you are a cheese lover then it might be worth the investment. For inspiration, here is a funky website exclusively dedicated to all things fondue: http://www.bestfondue.com/