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Few things bring people together like sharing a meal around a fondue pot.  Whether it's the eye-to-eye contact it brings, the conversations about what to dip and for how long, or perhaps simply the wine that goes so well with so many cheese fondues - conversation and laughter always flow when a fondue pot is at the center of the table.

Unfortunately, fondue preparation, particularly cheese fondue, takes some planning and preparation.  To get a good smooth fondue you should use cheeses that aren't commonly found in most US supermarkets.  Getting the proper taste requires using wine, some liquor (usually), and time spent grating and carefully melting the cheeses.  It's a very-special-event kind of thing, and something you usually don't want to do in any great quantity.

Finally, there is a simpler way.  Europeans have been enjoying the convenience of pre-packaged fondue cheese for at least 5 years, and this convenience is now available in the US.  Prepared using true Swiss fondue cheeses, wine (alcohol removed), and other natural ingredients, the fondue is sealed in foil packets that keep unrefrigerated for months in your cupboard.  You simply cut open the packet and slip the contents into a stove pot, an electric or sterno fondue pot, or even a bowl in the microwave!

Chocolate fondue can be similarly difficult to prepare, but thankfully there are now specially mixed chocolates made to melt into smooth, creamy, dippable chocolate.  Whether as a dessert after a cheese fondue dinner, or as a special romantic treat after a spaghetti dinner, chocolate fondue is now fast and easy, and available at a moment's notice.

Read more about different types of fondue and our fast, pre-packaged solutions using the links to the left.

Cheese and chocolate fondue pot - purchased from istockphoto