If there is one topic that divides around the table, it is politics. Yes, and the dishes themselves can be a subject of controversy. Take, just in case, Burgundy beef: for the publisher Antonin Iommi-Amunategui (Nouriturfu), it is impossible to delay, “This is decidedly the right dish. It’s all said in a nutshell: first beef, good bidosh good in sauce, whose reproduction is known one of the four or five major environmental disasters. Then Burgundy, the most traditional region in the world.” But then what would the dish on the left look like? “With sauerkraut, of course” wine merchant Mathieu Levy (Semele, Paris, XIe) answers: “This is a cheap, vitamin C-rich, easy-to-storage dish that could save the entire population from winter hunger. And then, despite the variations, we can talk about the union of sauerkraut.
Because that’s what’s at stake in this dishonest, and therefore fascinating, debate: according to his very personal definition of left or right, the plates are bursting from one end of the political spectrum. To continue this week’s fighting between two rotations, let’s ask annoying questions. Today: Savoyard fondue right or left?
Farah Keram, Arte journalist
“Savoy Fondue Left”
“Poor thing, in these years of Covid, fondue has kind of been overlooked because it represents the coming together of food… and microbes. It’s an anarchist dish in many ways because it transcends ownership. When you lose your bread, someone else takes it. The essence of the left is felt precisely in this voyage, in this uncertainty between what belongs to me and what belongs to you. We are together, around the same dish. It’s a luxury, it’s an opportunity to share, you’ll never do it alone… You can make a Savoyard fondue without the use of great Swiss cheeses at a price of 30 euros per kilo. This is a dish that has been able to settle down and settle down everywhere, even in modest homes. There is no exact recipe, it is not fixed, like what the dish on the right may represent. It is even a dish that breaks geographical boundaries. What is French, what is Swiss in a Savoyard fondue? Impossible to decide. We are for the abolition of borders.
Watch the fight on Monday
“Another fundamental point: Savoyard fondue is inherently leftist, because eating it requires hard work. You have to take care of pricking the bread, stirring the cheese so that it doesn’t stick. You have to roll up your sleeves to eat it because someone in the kitchen didn’t do all the work for you. Finally, in Savoyard fondue, there is no obsession with appearance. The stove is in the center of the table, you pull the long strings with a fork, you eat it on your chin… It is difficult to observe very strict bourgeois etiquette with this dish.
“The priority of the bourgeois is education, holidays, clothing. Few people go to the markets and find out about good bakeries in the neighborhood. Proper nutrition is incompatible with busy work and weekends outside the city. The liberal economy leaves no time for cooking. The bourgeois will target certain symbols: a good piece of meat, a beautiful bottle, but nothing from a small producer, nothing from leftover cooking. Savoy fondue can be made with leftover cheese and bread and everyone will be happy.”
Nora Buazzuni, journalist and author steakism as well as Faimism
“Savoy Fondue Right”
“Savoy fondue has another name: bourgeois fondue. This already sets the framework. Then, if Savoy were on the left, it would be known. I recall that under the Fifth Republic Haute-Savoie was the only French department that never elected a left-wing deputy, with the exception of the DSC. Finally, and most importantly, this is the region where there is… Chamonix. I am not a hamoniphobe. I have a friend from Chamonix. People who ski in Chamonix say they ski “in Cham”. [Nora Bouazzouni le prononce avec une petite patate chaude dans la bouche, ndlr]. And who will ski? 7% French, revealed Mediapart. This is an elitist and socially differentiated activity. However, it is during skiing that we eat Savoyard fondue. The dish we eat in Chhhkham.
“Skiing is the chestnut of the entire French press, because those who work in the media come from an educated bourgeois class. As for me, I have never skied in my life and I have never eaten Savoyard fondue. Raclette is on the left even if he is taking the equipment. Raclette is potatoes and cheese and is available at all prices! You put what you want in it, not just PDO… I say this because in the 1950s, when the concept of “regional delicacies” was invented to satisfy tourism, Savoyard fondue acquired a very local recipe: Gruyère AOP, Vacherin, AOP of Plenty, AOP of Beaufort or IGP of Emmental. Of course, you don’t have to put all of them, but you need 2 or 3, as well as some Savoy wine. But who can afford to melt AOP cheeses in Savoy wine? Finally, on the right, there is something that fantasizes about authenticity, as if every sentence could start with “Is always…”. If it’s not real AOP cheese or real Jacquere de Savoie, “This is not real fondue.” And to melt all the cheeses to make porridge is not very respectful of the specifics of each of the cheeses.