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I got a Le Creuset fondue pot a year or two ago. Since then, we've found a bunch of great cheese fondue recipes, but there's a common thread that makes no sense to me. Often times, a recipe will call for a clove of garlic. The instructions of the recipe will call for you to rub the clove on the inside of the pot before starting the recipe. The recipe will make no further reference to the garlic.

Why do I need to do this? Am I supposed to use the garlic in the dish after the rubbing? Does the rubbing of garlic really affect the dish? How? Why?

This seems like it wouldn't have any significant effect and seems like a bit of a waste. We usually end up sautéing the garlic for 15-30 seconds and then proceeding as normal. Are we missing something?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You rub the garlic in the pot to gain a subtle garlic flavour. Same idea as rubbing a sliced garlic clove on grilled bread, or on meat prior to cooking.

Raw garlic is also moderately antibacterial in nature, so I suppose that could be a reason too.

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Yeah, it is supposed to just be a subtle flavor; if you like more garlic, it is perfectly fine to saute it and add to the fondue instead. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Oct 9 '10 at 5:41

We usually end up sautéing the garlic for 15-30 seconds and then proceeding as normal.

If you like the results, keep doing it. That's how we do it - I've never been able to taste even a hint of garlic in a fondue done the traditional way.

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