Choose Your Clothing Wisely

Winter is officially here, and the temperature dropped a great deal this weekend.  We had our first snowfall since being here in Zürich.  And my parents arrived from New York to visit us.  All signs pointed to one thing… fondue!

For our very first fondue in Switzerland, we chose a charming restaurant in the old town of Zürich, boasting the cuisine of the French-speaking region in the Southwest, the Vaud.  Nestled among downtown’s old buildings and cobblestone streets, Le Dézaley sits in a little cul de sac off of the main road, where the (very) punctual and clean blue trams run day and night.  The dominating towers of Grossmünster Church soar above the restaurant, with its powerful bells ringing throughout the neighborhood.  But inside, you hear only the loud clamor of clinking glasses and boisterous laughter should anyone drop a piece of bread in the fondue pot, totally against the rules!

Le Dézelay, Zürich, Switzerland

On a mission for melted cheese, we were surprised to be confronted with such a large and varied menu with items other than cheese.  There was almost an entire page of Vaudois sausages, another two of meat dishes (veal being the Zürich favorite), and still a dozen fish dishes, even including shark fillet.  But we turned those pages rapidly and all pointed to one thing together – “Notre fondue au fromage, recette grand-mère” – the house cheese fondue made according to an old family recipe.  They count 200 grams (7 ounces) per person, and you can get a small pot for just one person.  Ours was for four, with a big bowl of small bread pieces and a plate of potatoes in their skins for dipping.  We passed on the other accompaniments, which included pickled gherkins, pickled onions and baby corn.  Looking around the restaurant, the views were all the same from table to table – long forks swiveling around over big pots of bubbling cheese.

Le Dézelay, Zürich, Switzerland

This was just our first Swiss fondue, and it will be the first of very many, our own recipe to be tweaked time and time again as well.  So take this as a preview of what’s to come.  Many questions will be answered along the way too – is fondue Swiss or French? What happens if you do drop your piece of bread in the pot?  And as suggested by the title of this post, the one I am most set on answering – how to get the smell of cheese off of everything you wear?!

Restaurant Le Dézaley
Römergasse 7
8001 Zürich
closed on Sundays

10 Responses to “Choose Your Clothing Wisely”

  1. Yeye says:

    Well chosen place Kerrin! As a French fondue expert, I can tell just by the picture that this fondue is very authentic. And for sure the smell of it as well … If you find a solution for taking off the cheese smell of the clothing after a fondue, please inform us very quicly. I personally still have clothes I last wore in 2001 for a fondue party, hanging outside my balcony …

  2. Jack says:

    Excellent…a real business opportunity for someone interested in supplying ‘fondue clothing’… If you haven’t already washed your clothes…here’s another to try: Fribourger Fondue Stübli – Rotwandstrasse 38 in 8004 –

  3. Sarah says:

    I’m on the fence about fondue. I had it in Switzerland like ten years ago and I remember being repulsed by the very ripe smell and flavor of the cheese. I wonder if it is very different in France? I generally like French cheeses much better than Swiss cheeses.

  4. Jenn says:

    You paint such a beautiful picture of Zurich. And this restaurant sounds like a great place to escape the winter cold — I’m glad your first Swiss fondue was a success! Hope you have a fun vist with your parents!

  5. Kerrin says:

    Hi all. Sorry, but still no solution. I’ll keep working on it (if I must!). Especially with Jack’s great recommendation – thanks Jack !!

    Sarah, that’s too bad that you have a very “stinky” memory of Swiss fondue! Fondue comes from the Alps – both French and Swiss – and each village has its own recipe, using different cheeses and combinations of them. I think it’s definitely worth trying again. Start with French fondue, since you prefer those cheeses. My French husband thinks the cheeses used won’t be as strong, and the overall consistency won’t be as thick either. We’ll do our own homework and try comparing the two, too! We’ve all got our work cut out for us…!

    Bon appetit, and let us know what you think!

  6. Cecile says:

    Congrats! I like your blog – layout and content. Just linked you on our website:

  7. Steve says:

    Great photography! I was afraid to touch my computer screen for fear of burning my fingers. That fondue looks fabulous… and hot. Your article takes me back to my ski days in Vermont. We loved to end our day of skiing sitting in the base lodge, drinking wine (or hot chocolate) and dipping lots of bread in the fondue pot. Not sure how authentic that fondue was, but it sure hit the spot.

  8. Pierre says:

    At least !!!!! I have been waiting to see that article since July….Well I guess you get the swiss way of life with their famous “Il n”y a pas le feu au lac !”
    Good to see that you tested one of the very Swiss secret…the fondue, the real one with different swiss cheese, the best mix will be 50% vacherin fribourgeois and 50% gruyère, with a touch of kirsh and white wine for the spice and sweet taste !

    That is hell of a step in your setting down in Swisszerland, Congratulations and Happy thanks giving !

  9. Mickey Belosi says:

    I am so thrilled to see this article but alas no reply as to how to get the cheese smell out! Actually just washing worked for me. I do have a funny (I think) story about fondue. When skiing at Mt. Tremblent we enjoyed fondue on our last evening in the village. I wore the clothes I planned to wear on the plane trip home the next morning. And the last clean outfit I had! When we got back to the hotel I could tell the clothes still smelled like old cheese – even my coat! I hung all the clothes out on the balcony but in the morning they still smelled terrible. There was no way I was going to get on the plane with cheesy smelling clothes so I ended up wearing my gym clothes, which actually smelled better that my fondue clothes! I looked terrible but at least smelled good!

  10. Kerrin says:

    Thanks for sharing that story Mickey – that really is hilarious ! I think I have the solution for you … you need to pack a “fondue outfit” for future trips!! 🙂

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