Nothing can ruin a dining experience more than eating with someone who doesn’t have good table manners. Elbows on the table, not waiting for others to be served, not placing a napkin in your lap or putting it in your chair if you get up during the meal, are all norms we have become accustomed to. Hell, if you’re uncertain how to eat at a proper table setting, all you need to do is watch Titanic. Even Leo learned you just start on the outside and work your way in.
Well, I have a confession. My manners were recently challenged during an evening of fondue at The Melting Pot and I believe I committed more than one major fondue faux paus. Read on, and learn how to not make the same mistakes.
Fondue is a Swiss communal dish at a table in an earthenware pot over a small burner. Using long-stemmed forks, with different colored ends, eaters dip bits of bread, fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood into the molten sauce or cheese mix.
It’s cold outside so that means it’s time for a full-bodied glass of Mirassou, Pinor Noir
Originally popular in the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s, it’s making its way back into the mainstream. But before you start sticking your fork in a community pot of deliciousness, be sure you know the rules.
- Do not let your tongue or lips touch the dipping fork. When participating, use a dinner fork to remove the food and put on your plate.
- Don’t double dip. It goes without saying, don’t take a bite and put it back in the pot. If you do this, someone should go George Costanza on your ass.
- Don’t dip with your fingers, unless you want to get burned. The cheese and broth are both boiling hot, so this would not only be rude but also idiotic.
- If you loose your food in the pot, don’t fret. Your server or host/hostess should give you a search and rescue ladle. However, there are repercussions if this happens (see below).
- When cooking your meat or seafood fondue, don’t steal a dining partners stick. Even the most gregarious hungry girl needs to learn patience and wait her turn.
In true Swiss tradition, if a nugget of bread is lost in the cheese by a man he buys a bottle of wine and if such a thing happens to befall a woman she kisses the man at her left.
I think someone owes me a bottle of wine.