HOW BIG IS THE COVID RISK IN YOUR CHEESE FONDUE POT?
So, in case you’ve missed it, there has been a bit of a storm in a fondue caquelon lately over Covid and the threat it poses to one of the most popular winter pastimes in Geneva – and Switzerland.
As reported in France24 and other media: As Switzerland contends with one of the worst coronavirus surges in Europe, the Swiss are grappling with a melting-hot question – how safe is it to share a fondue?
WHY IS COVID AND FONDUE AN ISSUE?
As we all know, the Swiss (and those of us who have made the country our home) love their cheese fondues and it takes pride of place on just about every restaurant menu in winter. The problem is that it is a shared activity – dipping long-stemmed forks with bread or potato chunks into a caquelon of steaming hot cheese (fondue pot). So, the question is, is this shared experience still a good idea when we are trying to stay as far apart as possible and when sharing food and drinks can hardly be advisable at the moment.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
Didier Pittet – Geneva’s own infectious disease expert told AFP that there is certainly no risk linked to fondue.
Switzerland Cheese Marketing, perhaps unsurprisingly, is also adamant that the risk in dipping your fork in the same pot as your friend or relative is negligible.
Meanwhile, a Zurich-based infectious disease expert – Professor Christian Ruef – says the cheese in a fondue pot reaches a sufficient temperature to kill any virus. He does, however, recommend that we stick to small groups and maybe even a fondue for two.
He sees the problem more in the being together – sitting, laughing, singing together than in the actual dipping of your fork in the same pot.
RESTAURANTS CLOSED – WHERE TO FIND A GOOD FONDUE
Going to a restaurant for a fondue is out of the question for the time being and ordering in fondue seems a bit unrealistic, but that won’t stop the Swiss from eating fondue.
Apparently, fondue mix sales have gone up by 10 percent since the start of the year. Lorenz Hirt, head of the Swiss Fondue Cheese Industry Association, is quoted as saying that spring sales figures this year were even higher than in 2019.
SO, WILL YOU DIP YOUR FORK IN THE POT?
We think we’ve been convinced that sharing a fondue with family or close friends is not a big risk and in fact it may be just what the doctor ordered to get us through the Covid and winter blues.
Alternatively, we’ve seen little individual fondue pots for sale – so, maybe sitting at the table each with our own little pot could be the solution? Not quite the same, though, is it?
What do you think? Will you dip your fork in the pot this year? Share your comments with us below.