National cheese fondue day
April 11th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Keep your fondue sticks at the ready because April 11 is National Cheese Fondue Day!

While few can say no to a warm pot of cheese fondue with soft bread cubes for the ultimate dipping pleasure, the Swiss are proud to call this their national dish. The fondue pot phenomenon didn't catch on here until the 1960s, but oh, how we have embraced it.

The Swiss were so proud of their fondue that after World War II, fondue sets were sent out to all military regiments. It's no wonder they regard it as a symbol of national unity - everyone likes to congregate around the fondue pot.

While the recipe has changed over the years, from including eggs to no eggs, the basic structure includes wine and cheese melted together, with a little bit of cornstarch thrown in for a smooth texture. The pot is rubbed down with a cut garlic clove, then filled with a variety of cheeses, seasonings and a healthy splash of wine.

The hardest part about fondue for many folks is keeping it warm enough for dipping without burning the tar out if it (and the roof of your mouth). If you achieve fondue temperature perfection, you'll be rewarded with what the French refer to as la religieuse, or "the nun" - a thin crust of toasted cheese that is like a cracker, and perfect to lift out and eat for a post-fondue snack.

Get your bread cubes and favorite veggies ready for a fun fondue dinner (dare we say a fundue?) and make a lovely beer cheese variation. It will definitely bring everyone together.

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