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!
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.
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
closed on Sundays