26 (Mon) February 2018
La Fondue Suississime
(with dried beef from Valais, pickles, potatoes, bread, and a glass of kirsch)
-Hôtel Edelweiss, Geneva-
In Geneva. Here to attend an Inception Meeting on a Global Programme for Building Legal Capacity to Address Unhealthy Diet – Wednesday to Thursday. Came in a couple days early, just to hang out in the city.
Suississime is a Swiss restaurant. Specializes in cheese dishes, like fondue. Alpine decor, lederhosen-clad musicians – perfect for tourists.
Despite this being my 8th visit to Switzerland, I kinda feel like a tourist this time.
Fondue is a Swiss cheese dish. Melted cheese – typically Gruyère as a base, plus others according to taste – mixed with wine, sometimes other liqueurs, such as kirsch (cherry brandy), kept warm in an enamel pot (caquelon) heated from underneath by a spirit burner. Pieces of bread are dipped into the mixture with a long fork and eaten. Regarded by many as the Swiss national dish. (Other variations – e.g., meats dipped in hot oil, strawberries dipped in melted chocolate – were later invented in the United States.)
I’m assuming that the spread is meant to serve more than one. But even if for four, it was still a lot of food. Especially the potatoes. And the bread. And the pickles. And the cheese.
Confirmed beyond doubt: fondue is not my thing. First bite, okay. Second bite, already wondering if I should order something else. Too rich, too intense, too much. And perhaps just this restaurant’s recipe, but the cheese dip had a strong anise-like flavor, perhaps from the kirsch, which kept coming back at me as I continued to belch the rest of the evening.
Somehow, I did manage to get through the pot, for which I was rewarded with la religieuse, the crusty cheese at the bottom.
Still, I enjoyed the experience, even if not the food in its entirety.
Around the corner from the station, I discovered an excellent wine shop that also carries a wide range of single malt whiskies from various regions.