Fondue, more than other types of meals, truly brings people together—you can't ignore each other when you're dipping your food into the same pot. But if you've never done it before, you might need some tips on how to fondue. Let us show you how it's done, what you'll need at home, and even let you know where to find a romantic spot for fondue near you.
Welcome to your fondue primer! So, what is fondue? Basically, fondue is a communal hot pot, filled with cheese, chocolate, or cooking oil that you dip everything from fresh fruit to cured meats in. The best fondue parties have one pot of each. But the best way to get a handle on this ultra fun cuisine is to familiarize yourself with the three main types of fondue: cheese, chocolate, and oil or stock. Read more about each below.
The savory splendor of molten cheese is unmatched. Classic cheese fondue is a bubbly blend of swiss, emmenthal, and gruyere, blended with flour and broth for a smooth consistency. For extra flavor, you can also add aromatics such as garlic and nutmeg.
Recommended dippers: Cubes of bread, veggies and apples, even boiled potatoes
Fill the fondue pot with a simple, mildly flavored oil, such as vegetable or canola—about an inch or two, enough to cover whatever is plunged in to sizzle. For a healthier option, try broth—similar to a hot pot. It should be hot enough to cook the meat quickly. When you're doing oil fondue, it's customary to pair the meat with sauces, such as a simple steak sauce, horseradish cream, or garlic butter with lemon.
Recommended dippers: Cubes of potatoes (sweet or regular), sliced beef and chicken (beef cooks faster), shrimp, mini meatballs (which you can then dip in the cheese), veggies, especially mushrooms
This is really what you're doing fondue for, right? First add about 3/4 cup of heavy cream, then a cup and a half of dark or semisweet chocolate—either chips or chopped. Then, you can get creative: add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract, or even peppermint and cinnamon.
Recommended dippers: fruit (we like strawberries), chunks of cake, cheesecake bites, marshmallows, cookies—anything that can be securely speared
Each diner should have two forks. The fondue fork—which is thin with two short prongs at the end—is used strictly for dipping. This fork should never touch your lips; instead, use the second fork—a regular dinner fork—to slide the food onto your plate and into your mouth.
If your dinner is more casual, avoid double dipping by using your teeth only to slide the morsel of food from the fork and into your mouth—avoid touching the fork with your mouth
When the fondue is over, savor that crusty cheese that forms at the bottom of the pot. Swiss families are known to fight over that delicacy.
When you dip into the cheese or chocolate, swirling your fork in figure eights keeps it fluid and prevents clumps.
To prevent getting chocolate or cheese on the tablecloth, twirl your fondue fork over the pot until it stops dripping.
Between dips, rest the fondue fork on your plate, much like a pair of chopsticks.
Who says you've gotta get all dressed up and leave the house to snack on some tasty fondue? Enter: the fondue pot. Once a staple of wedding registries, we think it's (fon)due for a comeback. We've got a few different setups we recommend so you can pick the right one for you:
If making fondue at home just isn't your thing, there are plenty of restaurants you can go to that serve up the molten goodness.
Mona Lisa Fondue in Colorado Springs, CO, also has tabletop raclette grills for gulf tiger shrimp and lobster tail, and even wild game.
Diners at Cafe Fondue in Merrillville, IN, dunk delicacies such as beef tenderloin and scallops in oil or broth fondue.
And there are two franchises popular with Groupon users.
Simply Fondue has locations in, for example, Dallas; Livermore, CA, and Ridgewood, NJ. While its cauldrons bubble with specialty cheese fondues, such as the Mediterranean, with cheddar and sun-dried tomatoes, the focus is the chocolate: try one with melted Heath bars or Grand Marnier.
If none of these suit you, click to find fondue near me.