Though the word "fondue" comes from the French word that means to melt, the dish actually originates in Switzerland --- dating back to the late 1600s. Traditionally, fondue was melted cheese that was scooped up with hard bread. By the 1930s, fondue became the country's national dish; eventually its popularity spread across Europe and America. Variations include fondue bourguignonne, which is a hot oil dipping sauce that is accompanied by strips of steak, and chocolate fondue, a dessert that is often served with fruit. Fondue sets often include the fondue pot, rack, heating source and skewers, which can be bought together or assembled at home.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Ceramic Pot
- Chrome pot rack
- Fondue fuel gel
- 1 or 2 tea light candles (optional)
- 4 to 6 metal double pronged skewers
Pick a small enamel-lined pot that is big enough to hold at least three cups of sauce. The cheese or chocolate is normally prepared on the stove in a saucepan, and once melted, the sauce is transferred to the fondue pot. The fondue pot keeps the molten sauce from hardening during the dipping and eating process.
Place the ceramic pot on a plate or pot rack, so that it can be suspended over the heat source. This chrome wire rack is often used by caterers or for dinner parties to help keep entrées hot. They are often available in many sizes, but the smaller round rack should be large enough to hold the pot. Choose one that doesn't have a predetermined slot for the heating source, which can help provide a little freedom when choosing the fuel.
Keep the pot warm with a low-burning fuel source. The fuel designed for fondue pots is a gel or paste that comes in a small tin. Once the tin is lit, it burns at a lower temperature than normal catering torches, which helps to ensure that the cheese or chocolate doesn't burn. Another choice is tea light candles. One or two might be needed, depending on the size of the fondue pot.
Dip the cubed meats and bread into the fondue with the use of stainless steel double pronged skewers. These metal rods often have an easy to hold wooden handle are often used for barbecuing. The two prongs can help secure the food onto the skewer so that it doesn't fall into the fondue. Four to six skewers are usually included in many fondue kits, but more can be provided to entertain bigger parties.
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