Looking for a fun and easy way to entertain this holiday season? A fondue party fits the bill. This convivial way of eating is ideal for informal gatherings, and the warming fare is perfect for a relaxed meal served fireside on a cold winter evening.
From fondre, the French word for melt, this simple cooking method originated in Switzerland. According to one legend, the dish was born when an alpine shepherd, bored with his nightly dinner, heated his wine and cheese together in one pot and dunked in pieces of bread.
Making fondue is just as effortless today. All you need is a fondue pot, which sits over a burner so the sauce stays warm while you eat. Long-handled forks designed for dipping the food into the fondue also come in handy.
Begin the meal by serving classic cheese fondue, which combines melted Emmentaler and Gruyère cheeses with white wine, kirsch and seasonings. Guests dip chunks of crusty French bread into the hot, savory mixture. It makes a hearty and satisfying appetizer.
For an enticing main course, try fondue Bourguignonne, in which cubes of beef are cooked in a pot of sizzling oil at the table. Use a tender cut of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin. It will cook quickly while still remaining juicy and succulent.
Then, for a festive dessert, prepare a pot of chocolate fondue. Fine-quality chocolate is melted with a bit of cream, and diners dip in pieces of pound cake, strawberries or dried apricots. Accompanied by Champagne or dessert wine, it makes a luxurious ending to a fondue party.
Sharing a pot of fondue with friends and family cant help but inspire camaraderie and good conversation—and what could be more enjoyable during the holiday season?
See a few of our favorite fondue recipes:
- Gruyère and Caramelized Shallot Fondue
- Blue Cheese Fondue
- Roasted Garlic and Black Pepper Raclette
- Chocolate Fondue