substitute for wine in cheese fondue
As part of a program I do called "Food of the Month" at the school where I teach, I wat to bring in cheese fondue next month. It would make my life much easier if I could make t w/out alcohol. I KNOW that almost all the wine and brandy cooks off, but being a middle school, ... well, you know.
I normally use Alton Bown's "Fondue Voodoo" recipe and really like it - I'd like to get that same tangy taste in the fondue I give to the kids.
I've never tasted a dealcholized wine, but they exist. Frankly, I can't think of any other possible substitute that will leave the dish tasting anything like what it should. Juice would give a disgustingly sweet end product; broth would have a very different taste and would lack the acid that helps keep the whole thing the proper consistency. (Even pure fruit juices usually have about an ounce of sugars per cup of juice.) As for the kirsch, you could literally burn off the alcohol in a saucepan before adding it. If they object to even that, skip it altogether and find another cheese or Swiss dish that won't offend the unthinking.
I realize you have other parents and administrators to worry about, but I have to note that my brother's kids have been eating fondue with the family since they were old enough to eat solid food and have never exhibited any semblance of being affected by the alcohol "as alcohol." Given the proportion of a cup of wine (which is only 6% alcohol to begin with) and the very small amount of Kirsch to nearly a pound of cheese, there's only a neglible amount of alcohol in a full serving much less the few bites they're likely to eat in this kind of setting.
I totally understand your concerns about alcohol in food as it relates to students, but isn't it really a shame that someone would be offended by a childs exposure to great cuisine? I'm sure no parent or co-worker would be offended if you handed out artificially colored and flavored sugar laden jaw breakers. I by no means want to sound like I am attacking you John, it's great what you do, it's just a sad state as to what is acceptable in society today.
That being said try Verjus, it is grape juice that is pressed for wine but not allowed to ferment, and should provide the 'tang' that wine does in your recipe. Enjoy, and keep up the great work with those children!!!!!