How about a winter evening spent in Annecy (the capital of Haute-Savoie) in the south-eastern parts of France? What would say about a mountainous hut emerged on the snow hills of the French Alps, facing the Mont Blanc (or also known as Monte Bianco) whose white caps are impressive? Wouldn’t you want to stay near the fireplace with a glass of white wine or cherry liqueur, or herbal tea? Wouldn’t you want to talk with friends while eating Savoie fondue? All this sounds like an Alpine winter fairy-tale. No? 🙂
As it’s the peak of the summer season now, we can only dream of such a winter idyll. But why not to imagine the amazing summer landscape of Haute-Savoie with its meadows lush grass, and aromatic herbs and flowers? And yes, the landscape becomes even more beautiful because of the cows pasturing there. And the milk from namely these happy cows is so precious because Beaufort is produced from it in the hottest moths of summer and the French cheese is inseparable part of the Savoie fondue.
As usual, the cheese used to be the major vocation of local people and a significant means against starvation in winter periods when cereals cannot be grown and cultivated. At the beginning of the 17th century local producers imported techniques for cheese production from the nearby Swiss region of Gruyère. The enormous cheesy bannocks remained fresh after long transfers and for a long time. Thus cheese turned into the backbone of the local economy and the Swiss Prince of Gruyère helped its little French brother – Beaufort, grow up. The French cheese received its name in 1865 after the Beaufortain Valley (one of the three Savoie valleys where it’s produced) and it was used for preparing fondue.
Fondue is thought to have been a rural meal whose quality depends mainly on the quality of the cheese itself. It is very popular in Switzerland, Italy and France. The melted cheese is cooked in special orange fondue pots called caquelon and it’s served hot. It goes extremely well with French bread and a baguette. When eating it, never forget to drink something. Never drink water but choose white wine or cherry liqueur, and children could take a cup of herbal tea. And last thing here. After having indulged in fondue, take some slices of pineapple. The tropical fruit is a digestive and it does digest the cheese perfectly.
Mmmmm …. How nice … 🙂 …. I will start loving winter finally … The idea of being cold and of dipping bread in melted, hot cheese is fantastic, indeed. 🙂