Some say that fondue is coming back into fashion… but has is ever actually gone out of style? Putting together a fondue dinner is a great way to entertain — the prep is fairly easy and if you’re hanging out with new friends, the meal itself is a great icebreaker. That said, there are a few specific things you should know before putting your fondue soiree together. Here are some tips to help you pull off the perfect fondue party:
- Get your pots in order
For a full-on fondue party, you’re going to want to have more than one pot on the go, and not just for different kinds of fondue. If you’re planning to do a meat fondue with hot broth, it’s not safe to have too many people crowded around a single pot — plan for one pot of hot oil for every five people. If you’re also planning for cheese fondue and chocolate fondue, make sure you have enough of those pots too. This may mean going to thrift stores to pick up extra pots or asking guests to bring along some pots if they have them at home.
- Read up on safety
When it comes to fondue, there’s a lot of safety details to stay on top of. If you’re doing a meat fondue, make sure to follow safe practices when it comes to handling raw meat and watch that guests aren’t eating meat with the same forks that they’re using to cook their meat. Make sure that you’re using the right pots for each kind of fondue — ceramic pots are great for chocolate fondue, but not for meat. Finally, don’t forget that heat is an issue — you don’t want small children around super hot fondue pots. Either stick to lower-temp chocolate or cheese if there are a lot of kids around, or make sure parents do the cooking for their kids and then serve them away from the heat.
- Colour code your utensils
Some fondue forks come with coloured tips to differentiate each person’s utensil, others don’t. Either way, it’s a good idea to buy several different colours of decorative tape to wrap around everyone’s forks so no one misplaces or mixes up anything.
- Don’t forget the sauces!
If you’re doing a meat or seafood fondue, you’ll want to prepare some tasty sauces to dip the meat in. You can go with bottled sauces or, better yet, make some from scratch. Make your sauces in advance (check the recipes to see how long they’ll keep in the fridge) so you don’t have to worry about putting them together the day of the party.
- It’s not just about the fondue
You can fondue meat, seafood, bits of bread, fruit, marshmallows, and about a hundred other things, but even with all those options, guests may want a little break from fondue. Make up some salads and put out some non-fondue bites and appetizers and snacks for people who want to take a break from the hot pots. And don’t forget to prepare some beverages — all of that fonduing will make guests thirsty!