The Bottom Line: When two cheese afficiados compete for your tastebuds with silky, tantalizing, cheese fondue, everyone wins. The Barnyard Collective has hosted so many wonderful events like the Cheese and Raw Honey talk and pairing, the fondue competition did not disappoint, in spite of the of warm weather.
Review: After a long day at work, who can argue with a glass of wine and creamy cheese? If you have never heard of the Collective, then you my friend, are missing out. Guests enjoyed delicious charcuterie, white wine, olives while the two competing cheese mongers prepared their own concoctions of melted cheese.
As per most cheese experts, neither one of them used a roux,n which consists of equal quantities of melted butter and flour, as a base. Instead they both used a combination of reduced white wine and different kinds of melted cheese and corn flour.
The latter keeps the fondue from splitting. Check out award-winning chef Heston Blumenthal’s similar take on a cheese sauce.
Both used authentic Swiss gruyère and white wine, but both had different tastes, in terms of saltiness and flavor.What does “authentic” mean? Just like Scotch can only use its name if it is from Scotland, or Daiginjo sake in Japan or champagne from Reims, France, Swiss Gruyère has its own AOP (Appellation d’origine protégée), which basically means: “I’m the real thing; don’t you dare pretend to be me!”
While both were absolutely fantastic, I really enjoyed cheese expert Joe Salonia’s version from Gourmino because he added a little nutmeg and citris flavor that just really balanced everything out: Joe provided a breakdown of his mixture which included:
50% Gourmino Gruyere AOP 12 month made by Michael Spycher who is the 2008 World Cheese Championship Contest Champion
25 % Raclette de Bruson AOP aka Tomme du Valais – made by Eddie Bailliafard
25% Slow Food Label Emmentaler AOP 18 month – made by husbanch and wife Bernherd Meiers and Marlies Zaugg
The complete recipe will be available here:
The buzz at this cheese duel event was amazing. Even after the guests voted on the best, the fondues continued and conversations lingered over the pourring of wine. My only wish is that there was more red wine pairings, but guests were allowed to bring their own booze, which we did. Stay tuned for Barnyard’s upcoming Spanish olives night. I can’t wait.