Learn How to Fondue
Are you hosting a fondue party and don't know how to fondue?
Don't worry. We've got you covered.
This page contains all the fondue information and fondue tips that you need in order to have a great fondue party.
Fondue comes from the French verb fondre (to melt) and 'fondue' means melted. It normally refers to the Swiss cheese fondue that is served in a heavy pot called caquelon.
Some may erroneously think that fondue was an invention that originated in the 1970s. While most people in America were introduced to fondue back then, fondue was created well before 1970s. People in Switzerland have been enjoying fondue for a long time.
This national dish for the people who live in the mountains of Switzerland is composed of a mixture of Emmenthal and Gruyère cheeses, wine and kirsch. People dunk small bread cubes into the cheese fondue. For more information on fondue neuchâteloise, visit the Encyclopedia Britannica.
The word fondue is now commonly used to describe other types of fondue such as chocolate fondue, caramel fondue or other types of dessert fondue.
It can also be used to describe meals cooked in communal broth (fondue chinoise) or hot oil (fondue bourguignonne).
Why would you want to have fondue in the 21st century? Because fondue is making a very strong come back for very good reasons:
- You get to avoid most of the preparation that normally comes with hosting a dinner party.
- You also get to spend time with your guests and enjoy a nice glass of wine.
This type of meal allows for great conversation between family and friends and it's here to stay, judging by the ever increasing popularity of fondue restaurants and chains such as the Melting Pot.
How to Fondue - Fondue Etiquette
You and your guests should not double-dip during fondue, so once something has touched your lips, it can't be returned to the pot. This also includes the forks! Make sure to provide additional (i.e., regular) forks to your guests to eat the cooked meat and vegetables with. For cheese fondue, simply avoid touching the fondue fork with your tongue, teeth or lips.
Fondue dippers have a tendency to fall off the forks while in the pot.
Tradition has it that if a woman loses a dipper, she must kiss the first man to her left. If a man loses his dipper in the pot, he must buy (or refill) the next round of drinks.
Discover more fondue punishments and fondue games here.
To help keep your dippers attached to the fork, try to push them up far enough that the end of the fork becomes visible. This is especially useful for meat dippers.
How to Fondue - Fondue Tips
Make sure to have plenty of drinks available for your guests. If you're having a cheese fondue, you can serve the same wine that was used in the cheese mixture or a similar wine. Same goes for beer if you used a beer cheese fondue recipe. If you used light ale in your recipe, you can serve light ale to your guests.
Keep in mind that these tips are only a suggestion and you can serve a selection of wine, beer, tea or coffee of your choice. Some people believe that drinking cold drinks will make cheese harden in your stomach, but it's only an urban myth.
You should use colored fondue forks
to help your guests remember which form belongs to them. Read more tips about identifying your fondue forks here.
When taking your fork out of the pot, leave it above the pot and let it drip for a couple seconds to prevent nasty stains on your tablecloth. It will also let your food cool before eating it or transferring it to your plate.
Keep your fingers away from the pot! The fondue mixture (and the pot) is hot!
How to Fondue - Serving Fondue
Don't forget to have lots of napkins available for your guests. Make sure to read the following safety tips before your fondue night. You should also make sure you're using the right type of fondue pot.
If you're serving hot oil or broth based fondue, make sure to have a selection of dipping sauces for your guests. If you forget about these sauces and your guests have arrived, you can try ranch salad dressing or BBQ sauce.
Complete Guide to Broth Fondue Meal
Still unsure how to fondue or how to put all of this information together?
I've created a complete event guide that will show you everything you're ever wanted to know about dips and broth fondue dinners. Learn more about my Greek-Inspired Beef Broth Fondue Guide here.
- a complete fondue menu with recipes and drinks that complement each other perfectly
a tried-and-tested timeline that lists every task you need to take care of to host a perfect broth-fondue dinner for 4 people
- how to safely light your burner
- a cheat-sheet to determine if your fondue pot is suitable
- a video showing you how to place broth fondue meat on your fondue fork without using your fingers
- and much, much more.
Buy this COMPLETE Broth Fondue Guide
Now that you know how to fondue, you can get the fondue equipment you need at the Fondue Store.