Once or twice a year we make a fondu at home; last night was one of these times. It is easy and fun to make and a lot of fun to eat together. There’s something really enjoyable about preparing it and dipping your food it into a cheese, wine and flour mix and eating it with family and friends.
Our fondus are a little different, and we think better, than any that you can buy at a restaurant. First of all, my husband, and now my son, are experts at making fondu. Secondly, we don’t just dip bread in the fondu, not only because I can’t eat “regular” bread, but because it’s boring. We eat slightly steamed broccoli, small potatoes, sliced apples, cornichons (small french pickles), and the rest of my family eat the bread .
How do I eat fondu given that I am both gluten-free and dairy-free? First of all, we substitute rice flour for “regular wheat flour”. I don’t even have wheat flour in my house. We shred two types of cheese – guyere and swiss – which we mix with the rice flour in a pot with white wine. In the meantime we lightly steam the broccoli, cook the potatoes, cut up the apples and the bread for those who eat bread and put them in bowls around the fondu pot on the table. Then we dig in.
Since I am allergic to dairy I can generally only do this once a year when I am feeling really good, and only with lactose and allergy pills, or so I thought. This was one of the best fondus we have had in a long time.
We topped it off late in the evening with a dark chocolate fondu. I carefully and slowly melted dark chocolate pieces in the microwave to get it to a liquid and smooth consistency. In the meantime I cut up banana, peeled and cut up oranges, apples, and put out strawberries and blueberries. Given that I am allergic to milk chocolate and strawberries and I have a low tolerance for dark chocolate I have to be very careful with this dish too. I even had a separate fondu for people to eat the strawberries. It was fabulous and everyone enjoyed it, including me.
These are great party meals and great fun to eat with family and friends. Everyone loved them and they were happy and fine today. Unfortunately I woke up in agony and was sick all day today. What was I thinking eating dairy at all and eating both dairy and chocolate in the same evening? If you are gluten-free, you can easily substitute rice flour and you can also purchase gluten-free bread/baguettes for your fondu. But if like me you are dairy free, think long and hard before you dig in. It is going to be a long time before I do this again. I may eat it once the memories of my reaction fade, maybe in another year!