Fondue in the Mountains
Every year, SIT hosts a dinner for the host families and their students during which they feeds us fondue. This year, the restaurant we went to was in La Dôle, a peak in the Jura Mountains. The name of the place is La Barillette. Getting there was ridiculous. From the bottom of the mountain to the top, it took us an entire 35 minutes going round and round and round again. But the place is gorgeous. And it was so freezing! Which in fact, is the beauty of it. Fondue is so heavy that it makes you very warm, so the preference is to step out somewhere that is very cold. Well played. Very well played.
The culture of eating fondue is very particular. Before you eat this cheesy goodness, you must prepare yourself with meat: sliced pieces of salami, bacon, and all that good stuff can be eaten with pieces of bread. As for the drinks, AVOID WATER AT ALL COSTS. In fact, they will not even give you water if you ask for it. This is because water is too filling and will actually make you vomit if taken along with fondue. So what can you drink? White wine or green tea. That is all. Also, what they do not tell you is that there is a sizable quantity of alcohol in the fondue itself. That was a surprise!
When eating the fondue, it is typically done by dipping bread into the cheese, although meat is also an option. Once the fondue is gone–and believe me, it’ll take a lot of teamwork for that to happen–everyone must take their long fork and scrape the bottom of the pan. The cheese tastes superb on the bottom. One thing the Swiss like to do is actually spread an egg on the bottom and eat it with the cheese. Also, a word to the wise: the cheese stinks. It really smells horrible. So try not to smell it while eating.