Fondue Frustration

Why are so many people fond of fondue?

My husband and I have heard about it and were curious.  We never did it before, but heard how good it was, especially from other couples who did it.  So we thought we’d give it a try, even though we felt out of our element and didn’t really know how to do it.  Hopefully, our inexperience wouldn’t embarrass us.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  The “it” is fondue.

When it first became popular in the U.S. during the 1960s, fondue was one of those cool “to do” things, and for reasons that completely elude me, it’s resurfaced in restaurants and private get-togethers across the country.  I’ve heard about a particular fondue restaurant in our local area and wanted to try it to see what all the oohing and aahing was about.  I somehow fail to understand, though, the fascination people have with cooking their own food in a little pot at their table, not knowing whether their food is actually cooked (the lighting was too dim to tell), and paying through the nose (even with a Groupon) for the experience, which lasted about 2 hours.

Perhaps some people want to feel a kinship with the hunter gatherers of ages past, hunting for runaway food in a fondue pot?  Speaking for myself, I felt like I was conducting a search and rescue operation with my fondue forks spearing unsuccessfully for pieces of meat caught in the undertow of the bubbling broth.  In my opinion, I’m assuming people want to justify paying an arm and a leg for dipping small chunks of bread, apple, meat, and pastry into cheese, broth, or chocolate.  If it costs a bit, it has to be good, of course.

I’m open-minded and love trying all kinds of foods as long as they’re not too weird (don’t expect me to eat fried tarantulas like Andrew Zimmern).  Although the fondue experience was a disappointment for me and my husband, we were glad to find out what it’s all about so we don’t feel like we’re missing out on something that’s worth our while.  I still, however, continue to ponder the question: why is there so much hoopla around fondue?

Why, indeed.

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