A freelance writer living in Perth, WA. Not the droid you're looking for.
Published July 12th 2011
Fondue is French for fun. Just kidding - Fondue comes from the French word 'Fondre', which means 'to melt' and that's exactly what a Fondue is – food dipped into a pot of melted oil, cheese or chocolate. Having a Fondue can be lots of fun; a communal pot in the center of the table allows everyone to sit around the table, sharing the fun.
Let your imagination run wild. Fondue's are easy to prepare, relatively inexpensive and can be part of a main meal or dessert.
You will need a fondue pot or pots; these are not very expensive and usually use a small candle burner to keep the contents of the pot warm. You will also need long handled fondue forks, enough for each guest. The fondue pots and forks usually come in a set and if you don't already have one maybe you can borrow one.
Prepare the food before hand and keep it refrigerated. Arrange drinks of your own choosing, including plenty of water and soft drinks.
Prepare the table properly. Put the fondue pot or pots in the centre with the bowls of food cubes, sauces and side dishes arranged around the pots for everyone to share. It is best if all food is dipped into the fondue pot only once – no double dipping. It can get a bit messy so don't forget to include plenty of napkins.
Heat the oil, chocolate or cheese just prior to needing it and pour into the fondue pot to ensure freshness and that the food will be properly heated.
Sit down, and have a cosy, fun relaxed evening with your guests.
There are many different things you can dip into your fondue pot, and that all depends on what sort of fondue you want to have. Or you can use all of them.
Heat some oil until it is very hot then pour it into the fondue pot. It is a good idea to already have the fondue kit on, so that the oil isn't going into a cold bowl. This will lower the temperature of the oil, which may mean that it will take longer to cook the dipped food.
Any type of meat, beef, pork, lamb, chicken or even mushrooms are great for a classic fondue. Cut into small bite-sized cubes and dip into the hot oil until cooked.
Have some side dishes available such as a salad and fresh crunchy bread rolls. Include a variety of dipping sauces, tomato, chilli, mustard or chutney. These are great additions to a lovely hot fondue dinner.
A cheese fondue usually consists of two types of cheese and a little white wine. Melt the mixture and transfer into the fondue pot. Make sure not to add too much wine, or all you will taste is the alcohol.
Serve cubes of bread, apple or raw vegetables to dip into the cheese. Have fresh crusty bread and dipping sauce or maybe even salad as a side dish.
Chocolate Fondue is more of a dessert. Melt the chocolate and add a little cream and butter to make the mixture smooth and creamy. Pour into the fondue pot and serve with marshmallows and fresh fruit – strawberries or bananas. You can even use small cubes of cake or fudge brownies. For something different, try using some hard pretzels or some glazed cherries- both are delightful and different.
No matter what you decide to go with, there is something for everyone to try and it makes for a fun evening. And if you decide to host a fondue evening, then why not tell your guests about the traditions of fondue? If a man drops his dipping food into the pot, then he has to buy everyone a round of drinks. If the woman drops hers, then she has to kiss her neighbours. So be careful everyone.