Do You Have a Fondue Pot?

Dipping a cheese fondue with a long-stemmed fork

Dipping a cheese fondue with a long-stemmed fork (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I went to a fondue party.

I see the blue enameled pot I got as a wedding present every time I open the cupboard door.

I probably haven’t made fondue for friends in 30 years.

But, I wouldn’t even consider getting rid of the pot.

To look at a fondue pot is to remember lazy evenings with friends, talking over the pot, making sure your beef hasn’t turned crispy and you haven’t lost your bread cube in the cheese.

The hosts started out with their own fondue pot, added one from the mother of one of the hosts, and laid out seven more they’d picked up at yard sales and eBay for what is now an annual event at their house.

They arranged them in three stations for the crowd of 12, with plates of bread cubes for the cheese and dipping sauces for the beef cubes.

We finished with platters of strawberries, cake and sweets to dip in the chocolate.

I spent in a summer in Switzerland in 1967.

I never had fondue there, even though the Swiss have promoted it as a national dish since 1875.

Fondue started as a way to use up leftover bread and cheese and was first described in a cookbook in Zurich, Switzerland in 1699.

Melt the cheese over low temperature, bind with a little wine or beer and cornstarch, and dip cubes of French bread in the cheese.

Fondue comes from the French word, fondre, to melt.

Thus, fondue means melted.

How Did It Come to Be Popular in the United States?

A Swiss restaurant owner in New York City, Konrad Egli, started promoting fondue in the 1950s.

In 1956, he added fondue bourguignonne and in the mid-1960s, invented chocolate fondue to promote Toblerone chocolate.

Where Can You Find Fondue?

Swiss restaurants serving fondue are popular at ski resorts.

Several cities have fondue restaurants, including Chicago, San Diego, La Jolla, New York City, Boston, and Portland, Oregon.

And, there’s a chain.

The Melting Pot has three spots within 30 miles of my house and more than 145 across the country.

A communal pot and conversation.

I’m glad this 60s memory is intact.

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Have you ever eaten fondue?

Do you still have your own fondue pot?

Have you ever served your grandchildren fondue?

To you and sharing memories of your youth with your grandchildren.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

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