Fondue, Irresistible pleasure

 

One of the most delicious and tasty cheeses of Italy, Fontina is a fatty paste of cow's milk in medium and mature aging (4-5 months). Typical of Val d'Aosta, the most known mountain region of Italy, on the border between Piedmont and France, Fontina is produced in the mountain pastures, which often exceed 1.800 meters above sea level, and its birth dates back to 1200, when the family Fontin (hence the name) invented this tasty and unique variety that has since then entered the tradition, so that you can still find it in the frescoes that adorn the many castles of Val d’Aosta, painted on the tables of ladies, courtiers and warriors.

Straw-colored and thin crust, has a sweet taste, which presents considerable variations depending on the degree of maturation and former pastures, remaining always gentle and never spicy or bitter. Among the various recipes of the mountain region, one in particular has established itself as a delicacy at the national level: the fondue. It is a unique dish of simple preparation, where in a special pan called “Caquelon” Fontina is melted, forming a sort of cream in addition to crunchy croutons dipped in fondue (which literally  means "fused") that is maintained semi-liquid and warm by a heater on continuously below. To eat it should be used a particular fork in elongated form (to dip croutons or other) and perfect to share in the long and cold winter nights, here's how to prepare it according to the classic recipe.

Ingredients

Fontina

Milk

Butter

Egg yolks

Preparation

Remove the peel of Fontina, cut into cubes and let it soak in milk for at least 4 or 5 hours. After this time, melt the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the cheese; then place the pan in bain-marie to another with little boiling water and stir with a whisk until the cheese is completely melted. Remove from heat and add the yolks, one at a time, stirring again until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Quickly transfer it all into the saucepan, add the croutons and serve at the table remembering to turn the stove below. Then there are many variants of fondue (among other meat, chocolate, Taleggio, Gorgonzola) which provide for the addition of other types of cheese for the lovers of dairy products, but also meat, aromatic mountain herbs or potatoes.