A fondue party is a great way to center an event around food and fun. By creating several different fondues and providing a variety of dipping ingredients, you can ensure a casual atmosphere that calls for experimentation. Fondue parties are great for the adventurous chef, and as a bonus, they make it incredibly easy to pair food with wonderful wine.
A fondue is a melted mixture, usually kept hot to preserve the melted texture. Fondues can be savory or sweet, and should be paired with a variety of foods for dipping. An ordinary fondue pot is usually surrounded by properly paired foods, and often skewers or forks to make dipping easier. Fondues are easy to make and fun to play with, and a fondue party can be an opportunity to practice your melting skills.
Blocks of sharp cheddar cheese, which is sometimes used in fondue.
Savory fondues are often cheese-based, giving rise to an endless variety of flavor combinations. Traditional versions come from Switzerland, where the dish was invented. For a classic Swiss fondue, try pairing Gruyère with Emmental cheese, melting it with some mushrooms for flavor. Create a Southwestern cheese fondue by melting pepper jack, sharp cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing. Or opt for a smoked sauce with thick gouda or smoked mozzarella, garlic and a little mustard.
Whether or not fondue was invented in Switzerland, it is still popular there.
Cheese fondues are usually served with small pieces of bread and vegetables, such as celery, carrots, and tomatoes. If you’re making multiple versions of cheese for your fondue party, try pairing the cheese with an appropriate bread to enhance the flavor. Use a homey dark wheat with a cheddar cheese fondue or a tangy sourdough with a fontina and onion combination. Feel free to make several test batches to find good combinations. It is very likely that you will eat them regardless of whether they are the perfect match or not.
A Southwestern cheese fondue uses pepper jack.
Sweet fondues usually have a chocolate base, accompanied by cakes or fruit. A classic chocolate fondue is a combination of semi-sweet chocolate and slow-melting heavy cream. Spice up your fondue party desserts by adding a touch of flavored liqueur, such as triple sec, tequila, or Tia Maria. Make a wonderful s’more fondue by adding marshmallows to the mix and serving with graham crackers. Or go for true decadence by combining a classic chocolate mix with caramel, carefully swirling for a two-tone effect.
A smoked fondue sauce can use gouda.
A fondue party is essentially informal, with party guests usually gathering around tables for conversation and snacks. The basic flavors of cheese, chocolate, and vegetables and fruits make it easy to choose drinks for a fondue party. A basic white or red will pair well with savory fondues, while you may want to have a nice port or dessert wine for dessert dishes.
Fondue parties can include fruit dipped in chocolate fondue.
While fondue can be prepared in a standard saucepan, hot fondue pots are a great option for a fondue party. These can be purchased at most kitchen supply stores and will keep your mixes at an even temperature. Although the price can vary depending on the features, fondue pots can easily be found for between $30 and $70 US dollars. If the party is a success, expect calls from your guests asking to borrow your fondue pots within a few days.