I feel really lucky to have friends all around the world. It really makes a difference when you’re visiting their country and they give you all the insider local tips that allow you to enjoy the country even more. When I told Iz that I really wanted to have cheese fondue while in Switzerland, she did not hesitate to book a restaurant, even though technically fondue is a winter dish and we were deep in the middle of summer.
“Just know that there are only going to be tourists in the restaurant. No locals.” she said
The place she brought me to was Le Dézaley. The fondue cuisine is from the canton of Vaud, as reflected in the colours of the restaurant (green and white). As predicted, the entire restaurant was full of tourists. Well, I must say that being one myself, I was in my element. The waiters knew exactly that we were there for the experience and were very enthusiastic in making sure that we were well entertained.
First… some Swiss wine…. Swiss wine is not exported, since they don’t even make enough for themselves. Hence, it’s quite hard to get Swiss wine around the world. Your best bet is to get a bottle or two when you’re in Switzerland. When I was in Switzerland, I diligently drank Swiss wine whenever I could since I knew that it was something of a luxury for me
When we first ordered the fondue, I wondered out loud if there was going to be any meat too. Iz thought that I wanted meat in the fondue and being a purist at heart, she rejected the notion altogether. Hah. However, she allowed me to order an appetizer of dried sausages which was really delicious
So here comes the dish we’ve all been waiting for: fondue. I used to think that with fondue, all you do is stick the bread on your fondue fork, dip into the cheese, swirl, eat. Repeat.
I was wrong.
The locals eat their fondue with a shot of kirsch (cherry liquor). Here’s how you do it. With the skewered piece of bread, dip it into the shot of kirsch. Then swirl your liquored bread into the fondue (yes, you are going to spike the cheese too). Eat. Repeat.
How did I feel about it?
Well, I must say that the liquor is very strong and the liquor amplifies the taste of the cheese. Imagine the fiery taste of the cherry liquor soaking through your mouth as you chew on the bread, combined with the amplified taste of the cheese. The first time I ate it, it literally sent shivers up my body and it took me a few tries to get used to it.
After laughing at me struggle to eat fondue the “local” way. Iz finally told me that she just prefers to sip her kirsch after the fondue and not spike the bread with it at all. Hah. Having said that, it is tradition to have kirsch with fondue and I much preferred her version of sipping the kirsch after having fondue 🙂
Well yes, I fulfilled my desire for fondue. And a wonderful local experience at that!
Add: Römergasse 7, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland