Popularized in the 1930s, fondue was a Swiss and French dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot over low heat. Diners used long-stemmed forks to dip chunks of bread into the cheese. Fondue became popular in North America in the 1960s. Since then, it has grown to include heated pots of oil or broth for dipping meats and seafood and warm pots of chocolate for fruits and sweets.
Fondue is more of an entertainment meal, one to plan when you have six to eight people. It can be easy to assemble if you delegate. It can go something like:
Who will cube the bread?
Who will clean and cut fresh veggies into bite sizes?
Who will cube the meats?
Who will prepare and carefully store fruits for dessert.
You can easily raise participant interest by asking each person to bring with them their favorite, personally-concocted, dipping sauce along with a name for it and copies of the recipe. Maybe offer a prize?
This leaves you to round up three fondue pots: one for cheese, an oil pot for meat and fish/seafood and another for the chocolate fondue. Each person will need a long-handled fork and a plate to spread sauces and rest bitefuls retrieved from the pot.
Your menu might look something like this:
In a cheese pot, Swiss Cheese flavored with scallions, garlic and beer:
Granny Smith apples
In an oil pot:
Fresh tuna chunks
Meat and seafood sauces limited only by diners’ imaginations.
In a chocolate pot:
Miniature Peanut Butter Cups
Pieces of cheesecake
Always use safe fondue pots.
Use suitable oil heated to safe prescribed temperature.
Prepared cheese or chocolate fondue mixtures can be purchased.
Serve French bread with the meat/seafood course.
A dish of full-sized lettuce leaves allows for making lettuce wraps.
Some red or white wine seals it.
See Everything Fondue’s Etiquette Pointers and other fondue helpful information.