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Fondue

Fondue is a Swiss melted cheese dish served in a communal pot over a portable stove heated with a candle or spirit lamp, eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union in the 1930s, was popularized in North America in the 1960s. Since the 1950s, the term "fondue" has been generalized to other dishes in which a food is dipped into a communal pot of liquid kept hot in a fondue pot: chocolate fondue, fondue au chocolat, in which pieces of fruit or pastry are dipped into a melted chocolate mixture, fondue bourguignonne, in which pieces of meat are cooked in hot oil or broth; the word fondue is the feminine passive past participle of the French verb fondre used as a noun. It is first attested in French in 1735, in Vincent la Chapelle's Cuisinier moderne, in English in 1878; the earliest known recipe for the modern form of cheese fondue comes from a 1699 book published in Zurich, under the name "Käss mit Wein zu kochen", "to cook cheese with wine".

It calls for grated or cut-up cheese to be melted with wine, for bread to be dipped in it. However, the name "cheese fondue", until the late nineteenth century, referred to a dish composed of eggs and cheese, as in la Chapelle's 1735 Fonduë de Fromage, aux Truffes Fraiches. Brillat-Savarin wrote in 1834 that it is "nothing other than scrambled eggs with cheese". Variations included cream and truffles in addition to eggs, as well as what is now called "raclette"; the first known recipe for the modern cheese fondue under that name, with cheese and wine but no eggs, was published in 1875, was presented as a Swiss national dish. Despite its modern associations with rustic mountain life, it was a town-dweller's dish from the lowlands of western, French-speaking, Switzerland: rich cheese like Gruyère was a valuable export item which peasants could not afford to eat; the introduction of cornstarch to Switzerland in 1905 made it easier to make a smooth and stable emulsion of the wine and cheese, contributed to the success of fondue.

Fondue was popularized as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union in the 1930s as a way of increasing cheese consumption. The Swiss Cheese Union created pseudo-regional recipes as part of the "spiritual defence of Switzerland". After World War II rationing ended, the Swiss Cheese Union continued its marketing campaign, sending fondue sets to military regiments and event organizers across Switzerland. Fondue is now a symbol of Swiss unity. In the meantime, fondue continued to be promoted aggressively in Switzerland, with slogans like "La fondue crée la bonne humeur"'fondue creates a good mood' and "Fondue isch guet und git e gueti Luune"'fondue is good and creates a good mood' – abbreviated as "figugegl". Fondue was promoted to Americans at the Swiss Pavilion's Alpine restaurant at the 1964 New York World's Fair. Fondue was popular in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, along with other foods made in chafing dishes; the extension of the name "fondue" to other dishes served in a communal hot pot dates to 1950s New York.

Konrad Egli, a Swiss restaurateur, introduced fondue bourguignonne at his Chalet Suisse restaurant in 1956. In the mid 1960s, he invented chocolate fondue as part of a promotion for Toblerone chocolate. A sort of chocolate mousse or chocolate cake had sometimes been called "chocolate fondue" starting in the 1930s. Cheese fondue consists of a blend of cheeses and seasoning. To prepare the caquelon it is first rubbed with a cut garlic clove. White wine is heated with cornstarch, grated cheese is added and stirred until melted, it is topped off with a bit of kirsch. The cornstarch or other starch thickens the mixture. Additional wine may be added. A cheese fondue mixture should be kept warm enough to keep the fondue smooth and liquid but not so hot that it burns. If this temperature is held until the fondue is finished there will be a thin crust of toasted cheese at the bottom of the caquelon; this is called la religieuse. It has the texture of a cracker and is always lifted out and eaten; the regional names used for some of these variants are factitious, do not reflect genuine regional traditions.

Vaudoise: Gruyère. Fribourgeoise: Vacherin fribourgeois à fondue, wherein potatoes are dipped instead of bread; this is the only cheese fondue. The cheese is melted in a few tablespoons of water over low heat. Moitié-moitié called Fondue Suisse: Gruyère and Fribourg vacherin. Neuchâteloise: Gruyère and Emmental. Innerschweiz: Gruyère, Sbrinz. Genevoise: Gruyère with a little Emmentaler and Valais cheese. Sometimes chopped sautéed morels are added. Interlaken: Gruyère, Emmental. Appenzeller: Appenzeller cheese with cream added. Tomato: Gruyère, crushed tomatoes, wine. Spicy: Gruyère, red and green peppers, with chili. Mushroom: Gruyère, Fribourg vacherin, mushrooms. Savoyarde: Comté, Beaufort and one or two other local cheese like Reblochon, Abondance, or French equivalent of Gruyère. Jurassienne: Mature or mild Comté. Auvergnate: Saint-Nectaire and Fourme d'Ambert Valdôtaine: Fontina, milk and truffles, typical of the Aosta Valley. Refrigerated

Jorge Afonso

Jorge Afonso was an important Portuguese Renaissance painter. Jorge Afonso was nominated royal painter in 1508 by King Manuel I and again in 1529 by John III, he was based in Lisbon, with a workshop near the Church of São Domingos. A whole generation of Portuguese painters was educated in his workshop, including Cristóvão de Figueiredo, Garcia Fernandes, Gregório Lopes and Jorge Leal, among others; the main painted altarpieces attributed to Jorge Afonso were commissioned by the old Queen Leonor, widow of King John II and sister of Manuel I. For the former Queen, Jorge Afonso painted the main altarpiece of the Convent of Madre de Deus, in Lisbon, in 1515; this magnificent altarpiece is now in Lisbon. Between 1520 and 1530, Jorge Afonso painted the 14 panels of the main altarpiece of the Monastery of Jesus, in Setúbal, again sponsored by Queen Leonor; the panels can be seen in the museum of the Monastery. Jorge Afonso's workshop is linked to the painted decoration of the walls of the Round Church of the Convent of Christ, in Tomar, executed in the 1530s.

Paintings by Jorge Afonso in Six Centuries of Portuguese Painting website

Canadian Medical Assistance Team

Canadian Medical Assistance Teams is a Canadian grassroots, non profit disaster relief organization based in Brantford, Canada. Through its medical relief and development projects, CMAT seeks to improve the health and welfare of families both in Canada and in developing countries around the world. Canadian Medical Assistance Teams was established in 2004 in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami as the medical arm of Canadian Relief Foundation. Two teams of paramedics from British Columbia and Saskatchewan were deployed to Banda Aceh, Indonesia to provide medical aid to the victims of the disaster. With lessons learned in Indonesia, CMAT prepared for further deployments. CMAT has a database of over 1000 health professionals from across Canada, one of its strengths is the ability to be flexible. CMAT is dedicated to building capacity in the communities provided with assistance, so any project, initiated will only be in direct partnership with local authorities and with the support and permission of the host government.

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami was the first time CMAT sent medical teams overseas. Over the course of eight weeks, three Canadian medical teams consisting of paramedics and physicians were deployed to Indonesia, with the first team deploying within 10 days of disaster. CMAT's medical team worked alongside teams from Mercy Malaysia and collaborated with Canadian consular officials from Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to establish medical stations and administer medical care and first aid to displaced persons in Medan, Banda Aceh, Meuloboh, Indonesia. On August 29, 2005, the Category 3 storm made landfall in southeast Louisiana, it caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. CMAT deployed an assessment team to Louisiana. After three days in the Area of Operations and completion of an on-ground tactical assessment, it was determined that CMAT's trauma team of physicians, trauma nurses and flight paramedics should not be deployed to the area.

The two-member assessment team cited significant political infighting and substantial lack of command and control structure, which together posed serious problems for logistical support and basic information. On October 8, 2005, a major earthquake registered a moment magnitude of 7.6 in Azad Kashmir, near the city of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan. Occurring at 08:52:37 Pakistan Standard Time, it registered a moment magnitude of 7.6 The disaster destroyed 50% of the buildings in Muzaffarabad and is estimated to have killed up to 80,000 people in the Pakistani-controlled areas of Kashmir, alone. The severity of the damage caused by the earthquake is attributed to severe upthrust, coupled with poor construction. CMAT focused its efforts in northern Pakistan in Bagh and Muzaffarabad areas sending an assessment team from Canada on October 10, consisting of search and rescue and paramedics, as well as an emergency physician. In addition, CMAT's staff in Kabul, Afghanistan conducted an assessment in affected areas in eastern Afghanistan.

This initial assessment team was followed by ten rotations of teams every three weeks, the second of which departed on October 21, 2005. The teams worked alongside members of the Rotary Club of Islamabad and Rawalpindi to deliver emergency medical relief, assist and support medical staff at hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, deluged with quake victims airlifted from the field. Subsequent teams were stationed in Muzaffarabad, working out of Abbass hospital, in collaboration with the US Army's 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital Hospital, in Garhi Dopatta, working with the Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team Team, United Nations Health Cluster. On November 3, 2005, CMAT announced that it has been awarded over $190,000 in funding for two of its projects as part of the fund matching program through the Canadian International Development Agency; the funds were sent to support medical teams in Muzzafferabad and other quake devastated areas. The 2007 South Asian floods were a series of floods in India, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

News Agencies, citing the Indian and Bangladeshi governments, placed the death toll in excess of 2,000. By 3 August 20 million had been displaced and by 10 August some 30 million people in India and Nepal had been affected by flooding. CMAT deployed a 2-member assessment team to Dhaka, Bangladesh to meet its local partner on August 18, 2007. According to CMAT assessment team and nurses were overwhelmed at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh hospital, as over 1800 patients were being seen every 24 hours with acute GI distress, typhoid and eye infections and severe dehydration with outside temperatures reaching 33 degrees Celsius. A four-member team consisting of advanced care paramedics and a nurse practitioner were deployed to Bangladesh, in collaboration with a local partner Fazlullah Foundation, spent three weeks providing medical relief in Gopalganj District, one of the most flood affected areas in Bangladesh alongside the Bangladesh Auxiliary Services for Social Advancement.

CMAT endorsed the activities of the Dhaka Project - a grassroots humanitarian project started by Ms. Maria Conceicao, a flight attendant for Emirates Airways. Conceicao was so moved by the plight of Dhaka's homelessness and poverty that she spearheaded the Dhaka Project, a program to alleviate homelessness and disease through sustainable educational projects, employment training of men and women, nursery programs, medical clinics. CMAT supported the project with a gr