The perfect party for a casual, winter get-together with friends may just be one held over a fondue pot. Besides the comfort of gooey cheese and bread or luscious melted chocolate and cake squares there's the silliness of retrieving your lost tidbit in the communal pot. You can't help but interact as you wait your turn to dip a morsel into the melted goodness.
There are three main types of fondue - melted cheese, melted chocolate, and an Asian hot-pot type where meat is cooked in oil or broth.
Most of this party can be prepped before your guests' arrival. You can slice the meat and chop the cubes of bread, pound cake, or fruit hours before your party. The cheese and chocolate for your sauces can be chopped, grated or cubed in advance too. You should wait until your guests have arrived to heat the ingredients together to avoid over-thickening.
Setting the Stage
- You'll need at least one, if not several, fondue pots. Most pots can accommodate six dippers. You may also want to use extra pots if you're cooking different types of fondue.
- Cover your table with an easy-to-clean cloth. Fondue can get messy as the dipped piece is carried from the pot to the plate.
- When you make a meat-type fondue, give each guest individual bowls or ramekins with sauce for dipping after the meat has been cooked.
- Depending on the level of intimacy your guests feel for one another, you may want to suggest they dip with their fondue forks, then place the dipped pieces on a dish to eat with a dinner fork.
- Light a fire in your fireplace to add to the cozy ambience.
- Play Swiss music in honor of the birthplace for this dish.
- Wine or beer are often served as accompaniments to fondue. Cider would also work well with many of the cheese varieties.