Is the one that you make in the private kitchen.  Really.

This rental in the Swiss Alps, on Tripadvisor in the Vacation Rental section.  This one is called the “Heinz Julen” Loft: 3B/3B/sleeps 6/$9501-$26,706/week.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g188098-d1955125-Heinz_Julen_Loft-Zermatt_Valais_Swiss_Alps.html

And I thought about fondue.  Fondue?  The stuff that you eat in American restaurant is NOT fondue.

That counterfeit stuff is melted cheese.

Real fondue is wined and spiced.

To have someone make real Swiss fondue for you is like them bringing the Swiss Alps to your table.  There’s also something called reclette, which is melted Raclette cheese served over potatoes, but I prefer fondue much much better.  In David Lebovitz’s blog, he writes about reclette, as told by his informant:

 “Oh, no! You can’t just eat raclette anywhere or anytime. You have to be in the mood, sitting by a beeg fireplace, ready to make love with someone…” she said, with grand sweepings gesture of her arms and voice trailing off, evidently with thoughts of gettin’ down by the hearth.”

Once you’ve had real fondue….

How to make fondue in your kitchen: 

First, the cookware.  Forget the aluminum stuff.  Only red ceremic cookware will do, maybe something like the Emile Henry or the Lugano pots sold here:

http://www.chefsresource.com/fonduepots.html

You’ve GOT to get the real stuff, Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese.

The only place that sells Vacherin Fribourgeois in the DC area is Balducci on Old Georgetown Road.  Don’t bother looking at Whole Foods, Gourmet Safeway, Sutton Place, or Dean & DeLuca, they don’t have it.   The Swiss Pastry Shop has an online store, but their cheeses are often out of stock.  There are at least 2 types of Vacherin, but whatever you can find at Balducci’s is fine.  Some recipes call for Emmentaler cheese, but I’ve never had that because I like the Vacherin perfectly with a combination with Gruyere.  Use about 150 grams per guest.

Then, the alcohol.   Kirsch is very important.  (Read on).  As for a dry wine, it’s supposed to be Fendant, but that’s not readily available in DC.  Use a good white Bordeaux instead.

Once you have the ingredients, the cooking process is actually fairly simple.  David Lebovitz has a great recipe here.  See?  They use the red ceramic pots–not the stainless steel or the aluminum stuff.

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/11/making-swiss-cheese-fondue-recipe/

You use a bit of garlic in the beginning.  At the end of the cooking process, my friend says to add a dash of freshly ground pepper, and fondue spice.  You can buy fondue spice (a mixture of white and black pepper, and nutmeg) here:

http://www.swissmade.com/en/web/index.php?id=173&s=fondue_spices  .

It’s sounds like a lot of fuss but once you got the system down, you can whip up a fondue dinner in no time.  It’s really, really simple, uncommon and beautiful, tasty. When your friends come, you can give everyone a kiss and a skewer.  Soon they’ll be sticking their fondue forks into bread cubes, potatoes, vegetables and going on like, ooh, aaaahh, mmmm, yum, oh my god, I’m in heaven, I’ve never tasted anything soooo good, ummm, can I have the recipes, can you scrap me that burnt part at the bottom, is there more, what’s for dessert?

***

Once again, I’ve been too verbose in my post.  Around this time 10 years ago, I was spared the diagnosis of cancer.  To be alive for 10 years after, and to be in this place wonderful place in life, I am so grateful for that I have no words for.  Today in the rain I went back to the Medical Center.