As soon as Emma was born I swore that she would not think cheese was “American” and that bread was “Wonder.” (I also made Bruce swear that we would never allow any rodent-like pets.) When she was little, Emma was game to try anything. Then came snacks at school, something I hadn’t thought about but those snacks were a breeding ground for American Cheese and Wonder Bread to say nothing of Juice (anything in a pretty, sugar-laden color), which up to that point Emma didn’t like. It wasn’t long before all she wanted to drink was Hawaiian Punch; she asked me to buy the same cheese her friend had (yup, that would be Kraft singles); and she stopped eating bread that wasn’t “soft and squishy.”
I had to do something….
So, I bought butter warmers at Sur La Table and started making all kinds of cheese fondues, two at a time so I could make it a game and we could all vote for the one we preferred. I never used any alcohol in them, just cream (1/4 to 2/3 cup for 8 ounces of cheese), salt and white pepper (though sometimes I garnished the top with caraway seeds (gouda) or black pepper (chevre)). We’ve used Swiss, Gruyere, Emmanthaler, Chevre, Brie, Camembert, Gouda, Fontina, Cheddar, and many others. I served them with all sorts of dippers Emma loved: pieces of baguette, croutons, crackers, sliced apples, ham and proscuitto. Years later, we are still having our Cheese Fondue Tastings…and I’ve never–ever!–bought Kraft Singles.