22 September 2008

Fondue for WORLD FOOD DAY EVENT!!!!!!

If any cheese is native to Canada, it’s Oka. It was first created in 1893 by the Trappist monks of Oka, Quebec. Oka is a type of Port Salut cheese, first made in Brittany, France by the Trappist monks, who brought the recipe with them to Canada and used cheesemaking as a source of survival. In 1974, Agropur, Canada’s largest cheese cooperative bought the rights to produce Oka from the monks.Their cheese is made just down the street from the original Trappist Monk's monastery. Oka is a semi-soft cow's milk cheese that’s creamy, fruity and nutty. It’s traditionally covered with an orange rind that’s washed in brine and aged on cypress wood planks.
What do I do with Oka you ask? Well...it makes the best fondue ever!!!!! Creamy and silky to the tongue. I am entering this dish into our event for World Food Day. Fondue is typically a Swiss dish, but, what makes it my own is the use of strictly Canadian cheeses such as Oka. When I asked my daughter what she would enjoy on her 21st birthday...it was unequivocally...FONDUE!!!!! This is a family favourite and perfect for this event since we can feed 8....or two very hungry women!!!!!We are very lucky to have an overabundance of food in our household. World Food Day brings to our attention the plight of 862 million undernourished people around the world ...even in our own backyards who are not as lucky!!
To highlight World Food Day (which has been celebrated on October 16th every year since 1945) I am holding a World Food Day event with the help of my good blogging friend and adopted sister Ivy of Kopiaste. We are bringing the world a little closer together with us blogging on opposite sides of the world...Ivy in Athens, Greece and me from British Columbia, Canada. Ivy was kind enough to accept my invitation to raise awareness through this event. The blogging community spans the globe so I would like you to submit a recipe which represents your country that would feed at least 6 people. You can send something that is a family favourite or a regional favourite that uses local and perhaps seasonal ingredients.
I would like to thank everyone who has submitted an entry so far. There are exciting things in the works to make this event bigger and better for the years to come. Anything we can do to raise awareness of this very important issue the better.

We could then lay each dish we receive back to back and have enough food to feed everyone on our street. If more people joined we could feed everyone in our city...our country...the world...you get the picture!!! A conga line of international dishes to feed the world!!!!

To find out more about how you can join Ivy and myself in this event click here .

JOIN US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**True Canadian Fondue**

1 cup (250 mL) Canadian Oka, in small dice
1 cup (250 mL) Canadian Emmental, grated
1 cup (250 mL) Canadian Vacherin, in small dice
4 tsp (20 mL) cornstarch
1 clove garlic, sliced in two
3/4 cup (200 mL) Pale Ale type beer (or I used Chasselas wine from St. Hubertus Winery) *
2 tbsp (30 mL) kirsch (optional)
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
Ground nutmeg and pepper to taste
2 to 3 baguettes, cubed
2 cups (500 mL) assorted raw vegetables (quartered mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower florets etc.) or slices of apple and pear

In a bowl, mix cheeses and cornstarch.

Rub the inside of a fondue pot with sliced faces of garlic clove. Over medium heat, pour beer (or wine), kirsch and lemon juice in pot and bring close to the boiling point, then reduce heat to very low.

Add cheeses gradually by handfuls, stirring until melted. Keep heat low; do not boil preparation; as fondue should not be subjected to high temperatures.

Stir preparation in a figure eight motion with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Blend in nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Spear baguette cubes and vegetables with fork, dip in fondue and enjoy!

Tips: In stores, you will find Canadian Swiss under the names of Cogruet or Mont Saint-Benoît and Canadian Emmental under the names of Chaliberg or Kingsberg.

You’ve got choice: Replace Canadian Oka with grated Swiss or Canadian Colby. For a touch of country flavour, blend in 1 tsp (5 ml) of dry mustard and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of chopped and sautéed leek.

*NOTE: For this dish I used Chasselas wine from St. Hubertus Winery here in the Okanagan. They make wine in the Swiss way....I have asked them but I still don't know what that means.
Serves 8
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  1. A fondue I'd love to taste! It is quite similar to ours, somehow...



  2. Ahh I see, Lil' Burny one and yourself were dipping away in Fondueville all weekend!

  3. This is the first time I've heard of Oka - sounds good! Though I'm such a fan of fondue anyway that it doesn't take much to tempt me ;)

  4. So retro Val but oh so yummy!....great choice to highlight your event!

  5. This is a delicious sounding fondue. As a canadian I am ashamed to have never eaten a cheese fondue, although had my fair share of chocolate and brouillon-wine based fondues. Going to give this a try at my next gathering.

  6. I would think the Swiss way would have to involve cheese or chocolate....neither of which sound like ingredients in winemaking ;-)

  7. I love fondue - and maybe one day I'll make it up to Canada so I can try the Oka!!

  8. This is a lovely idea - will try and contribute. When do you need it by?

  9. Great event. I haven't had fondue in years, it's about time I did something about that. I've just given you an award, come check it out!

  10. I've never made fondue before, but I do love cheese and wish I could have tasted this.

  11. Wow, I'd love to try that cheese, I've never heard of it. Great story too!

  12. I love fondue - cheese and chocolate!
    Never heard of Oka, but I do like Port Salut. And I can't get the image of Trappist monks gathered around a fondue pot out of my head. Yes, I know, they just created the cheese, but still... ;)

    Your World Food Day event is a commendable initiative!

  13. Valli, what a beautiful dish for a beautiful, important event!

  14. Good history on the Oka cheese - so one of my favourites - very smooth - extremely addictive. Put it into fondue, add a little wine and it's a bonafide party. It sure doesn't take much to take a few simple ingredients and make them a great experience.

  15. Oh, I love you! I love fondue!

    I love beer! I love cheese!

  16. What a lovely dish and entry Val. Would you believe that I never had fondue before. My kids bought me a fondue set for my birthday but never got to use it yet.

  17. The Swiss invented fondue Rosie as far as I know.The best thing next to Swiss chocolate.
    We ate the whole thing in one sitting Peter!!!!!! Just say oink!!!!!!!!
    Fondue is family favourite Kittie.
    Good thing retro is in Peter. My daughter loves this and its not Thai or curry. I wonder if you can make a curry fondue?
    Cheese fondue is still second to chocolate Parker!
    I am still not sure what tyhe whole Swiss-winemaking method is That Girl.
    Oka is a wonderful cheese like Port Salut..maybe that is available in your area Deborah.
    WFD is October 16th Charlotte. Thanks for wanting to participate.
    Thankjs for the award Sylvie, I will be sure to pick it up and do try Oka if you can.
    Give it a try Lisa and Noble. As long as you are not following a vegan lifestyle cheese is a possibility:D
    Jamie OIlivger show when he was in Italy at the monastery convinced me that monks will eat anything..so I can see them hovered around trhe pot Dee.
    Thnak you Astra!!!! I appreciate your thoughts.
    Thak you Giz for your support!
    Thank you Ivy. You just have to try fondue!!!!!!!!!!Your kids giving you it as a gift means they want to try it!!!

  18. I loved the Oka history lesson...& the fondue does sound ever so GOOD!! What a fab entry!

  19. I've not heard of Oka before, and now I want some! And I want this fondue! This recipe sounds so good with the cheese, garlic, and beer (or wine!). I like how you served this with veggies as well as bread. Oh gee, I'm really hungry now!

  20. i'm a cheese lover - maybe it doesn't show in my blog., but that's because there's too much of the local stuff being sold here; i need to get out of the island for good cheese (that's not local)
    this oca cheese sounds interesting

  21. This brings back memories from my days as a student..We always had a fondue on a Sunday night.......It looks amazing!
    I am going away for a few days, but when I return, I want to do this event!!!!

  22. thanks for introducing us to this cheese. i've seen it at the co-op. now i'll buy it.

  23. I love cheese fondue! Could you split it between 3 women, maybe????
    I love your event, but, as the movers come next Thursday... and then we're homeless for awhile...
    I'll see what I can do - probably at the last minute!

  24. Sis, I have an award waiting for you on my blog:)

  25. Oh I *love* fondue! Definitely one of my favourite meals in winter. I didn't know there was a version with Canadian cheese :) I must realyl send myself a reminder to take part in this event - such a great idea.


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