Cheese and wine is a winning combination any time of the year but, in the cooler months, adding a warm toasty fire and your choice of fondue or raclette makes it truly special.
Samantha Glover, owner of Pork Ewe Deli at Mayfield, is an advocate for both.
"The modern version of fondue we know and love is where the cheese is melted in a communal pot and you use long sticks to dip all the accompaniments into the molten cheese," she told Food & Wine.
"The first mention of fondue is said to have dated back to 800 BC, and there are varying accounts of how it was created. One popular story is that it was a peasants' dish eaten throughout the winter months, mostly as a way of using old cheese and bread when fresh produce was not as readily available.
"Historically, fondue has been a mix of cheese, flour and wine, which is very similar to the recipe of today."
Step one? Use the best quality cheese you can find, avoiding anything mass produced or pre-packaged.
"Something with good melting consistency; nice and gooey," Glover said.
"Think Comte, Gruyere, semi-firm aged Alpine cheeses such as Appenzeller. These are delicious cheeses with good gooeyness (elasticity) and moisture.
"A favourite Pork Ewe combination includes the amazing 12-month aged Comte, which is a French Gruyere, and Challerhocker, which is a Swiss Appenzeller style of cheese. These all melt to perfection and make for a delicious first-time fondue experience."
As for accompaniments to dip into the cheesy goodness, day-old bread is best.
"Other edible dipping accompaniments are crispy potatoes, crunchy cornichons and steamed vegetables. We also love a side plate of buttery Wagyu Bresaola, perfect to mop up any cheese drippings on your plate," Glover added.
Raclette, on the other hand, is both a type of cheese and a meal "originating from both the Valais region in Switzerland and Savoie France".
"Raclette cheese is the ultimate melting cheese - it makes life-changing toasties, potato bake and cheese pasta," Glover said.
"Raclette, the meal, involves sitting around an electric table-top grill made specifically for Raclette. The table is set with plates full of accompaniments like truffle salami, picked onions, bread, potato and salad as well as a plate full of sliced Raclette, with the grill taking centre stage.
"Each diner is responsible for their own meal, placing slices of Raclette on the grill, removing it when it is melted to their liking and adding their personal selection of accompaniments. It is a fun and interactive experience, with no cooking required."
Pork Ewe Deli supplies complete raclette and fondue packs, including quality ingredients and instructions. You can use your own equipment or hire one of their fondue pots or raclette machines.
"The beauty of being Australian is we can break the rules as we are not bound by tradition like the French and Swiss," Glover said.
"Add a small portion of a funky Italian cheese to your fondue pot to change the flavour, or introduce an excellent quality snag to your Raclette accompaniments. Why not try one of our local Hungerford Meat co. sausages?
"And why not enjoy beer with your cheese? It is an amazing match. We love Foghorn Brewhouse's Saison. As for wine, choose anything crisp, refreshing and textual. Our pick is Hart and Hunter 75 Days Chardonnay."
Pork Ewe Deli, 144 Maitland Road, Mayfield
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