Fondues (and Don'ts)

By: Michelle Buffardi
Easy Cheese Fondue

Do you fondue? Here's how to:

Do: Host a fondue party. Fondue is great any time of year, but winter is an especially perfect time to gather friends to dip carbs into a hot pot of melted cheese.

Don't: Feel pressure. If you're new to fondue, maybe a party isn't right for you. Bring a cheese or chocolate fondue to a party or serve with other snacks on a buffet.

Do: Stick to one course of fondue. Both savory and sweet versions are usually heavy, so a fondue for dinner and one for dessert is a bit much. If you're serving cheesy dips as your main course, serve fruit for dessert. On another night, host a dessert-only fondue party with lots of chocolate or creamy butterscotch fondue.

Don't: Limit yourself. Once you've decided if you're serving savory or sweet fondues, go crazy. Try a swiss fondue and a blue cheese fondue. Or crabmeat and brie and cheddar and hard cider. Think beyond cheese for your first course, too. You can dip bread, vegetables or cubes of cheese in a marinara sauce-like tomato fondue.

[/caption]

Do: Make enough for everyone. Plan on 4-6 people per fondue pot.

Don't: Go all crazy buying up extra pots if you want to serve multiple versions of fondue. You can if you want to; a decent fondue set will run you about $30-$50, but don't be afraid to ask your friends for help. They've probably got a fondue set at home that they've been dying to use and would be happy to bring it to your party. And in a pinch, you can serve your fondue in a crockpot, or try Jamie Oliver's version (in the top photo); it's served in a plain old bowl.

Do: Do prepare the fondue on the stovetop before transferring it to the fondue pot. Over an alcohol burner or candle alone, the chocolate or cheese won't melt completely or even get hot enough to eat.

Don't: Forget to stir the fondue pot frequently, whether it contains cheese, chocolate, or oil. Stirring distributes the heat, keeps the cheese and chocolate fondue smooth, and prevents scorched spots in the center of the pan.

Do: Serve lots of dippers. Baguette cubes, new potatoes, raw radishes, steamed vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower), roasted mushrooms, black bread, cooked shrimp, beef or chicken, apples, pears, roasted onions, sausage and cherry tomatoes are quite dip-able in molten cheese sauce. And for chocolate or other sweet fondues, consider: cake (pound or your favorite leftover cake of choice), marshmallows, sliced fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, pineapples), orange segments, dried fruit, brownies or biscotti pieces.

Don't: Double dip. Fondue etiquette suggests avoiding much mouth contact with your fondue fork since it goes back into the public pot. Overly conscious fondue-rs will remove their morsel from the fondue fork and eat from a separate plate and fork.

Do: Set the rules of fondue before you serve. Tradition states that if a woman drops her dipper into the pot, she must kiss all of the men at the table, and if a man drops his, he must supply another bottle of wine for the table. Other rules suggest that dipper-droppers are responsible for the after dinner cleanup.

Don't: Live by the rules of others, set your own house rules for your fondue party!

Get started with savory and sweet fondue recipes:

Next Up

Stop the World and Melt With These Easy Cheesy Fondue Recipes

Cheese fondue recipes including an Italian version from Giada De Laurentiis, chorizo queso, blue cheese fondue from Michael Symon and more.

Sifted: Plan-Ahead Valentine's Day Desserts

Get our take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including the best Valentine's Day recipes.

Sifted: Sweet and Salty Desserts + More Delicious Bits

Get our take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including the best Valentine's Day recipes.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to know a few clever tasting terms.

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Train Frontman Pat Monahan's Dark Chocolate Obsession

Train frontman Pat Monahan, an avid chocolate lover, shared with us his top five reasons for eating dark chocolate.

Valentine's Day Four-Ingredient Dessert

The best part of this Valentine's Day dessert? It requires only four ingredients: chocolate, butter, eggs and sugar.

On TV

Southern and Hungry

7:30am | 6:30c

Brunch at Bobby's

8:30am | 7:30c

Brunch at Bobby's

9:30am | 8:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

10:30am | 9:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

11:30am | 10:30c

Carnival Eats

12pm | 11c

Carnival Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Carnival Eats

1pm | 12c

Carnival Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Carnival Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Man v. Food

3pm | 2c

Man v. Food

3:30pm | 2:30c

Man v. Food

4pm | 3c

Man v. Food

4:30pm | 3:30c

Man v. Food

5pm | 4c

Man v. Food

5:30pm | 4:30c

Good Eats

6pm | 5c

Good Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Good Eats

7pm | 6c

Good Eats

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
9pm | 8c
1am | 12c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Sundays 10|9c

So Much Pretty Food Here