There are few things in life worth describing with multiple exclamation points.

The art of dipping things into delectable melted cheeses and chocolates is most certainly one of them…

I mean, seriously … melted cheese – who knew?!

And more importantly, for those of you who did have previous knowledge of this delectable phenomenon, what’d the rest of us ever do to you to have you holding out on us?!  When you discover an incredible, new way of eating, much like when you watch a hilarious movie or find a new way to drive someplace that’ll get you there really fast, it’s your responsibility to share those findings with the ones that you love!

But let’s just put all of that aside, as now is a time for celebration of the newfound culinary brilliance that is the world of fondue.  I mean, seriously – show me something more enjoyable than sticking stuff in cheese and I’ll show you a guy who didn’t consider the sexual innuendo of that last statement prior to putting it down on paper!  It seems so simple, so obvious – like taking the concept of nachos and kicking it up a notch, but in a sophisticated sort of way that makes people want to dress up and make a night out of it as opposed to something that one might enjoy in a ragged, old t-shirt on the couch in front of the TV.  Then again, if you’re anything like me, you have no qualms about doing either – really, cheese is cheese…

For me, I first found myself plunged into this magnificent melted world while my wife and I were planning our wedding.  In fact, I would dare say that it was one of the best things to come out of said nuptials … except for that whole “love you forever, ‘til death do us part” thing, of course!  Anyways, our very first taste was, in fact, during one of those same night out-ish scenarios – a bit of bread and cheese, a savoring selection of meats, and culminating with a wide array of succulent sweets all just begging to be dunked in that warm bubbly chocolate – and all of that was only the beginning!  Since then, we also enjoyed the rehearsal dinner for our actual wedding at a local fondue establishment and even managed to scoop up a fondue pot of our very own as a wedding gift of epic proportions.  From that point on, we’ve just never looked back … both with our undying affections and this crazy, little thing called fondue, mind you!

These days, I still certainly wouldn’t call myself anything even close to a fondue expert, however I am making an effort to put plenty of hours into that pot of ours to help build on my own knowledge like a smooth bullion stock.  And as with most do-it-yourself-after-watching-a-trained-professional-type projects, some attempts have certainly left me more encouraged than others, but hey, as they say, cheddar isn’t aged in a day, am I right?!

That said, if I could pass along just six tips based on my own personal fondue-ing experiences thus far, they’d probably look a little something like this…

  • The more unpronounceable the names of cheeses that recipes call for, the more delicious the final fondue will be … despite the sad truth that many will seem damn near impossible to find at your local grocery store.
  • Cheese fondues with a beer or wine base make it all the more easier to get drunk during dinner with a minimal number of mixed drinks on the side.
  • Eating an entire meal that consists of melted everything leaves many an opportunity to scald the inside of one’s mouth.
  • The responsibility of cooking your own meat right there at the table will likely result in overcooking just about everything … at least if you fear salmonella half as much as I do.
  • The human body is ill-equipped for digesting mass quantities of cheese in a single sitting – plan accordingly.
  • It’s simply not possible to name a dessert that can’t be improved by submersing it in chocolate fondue.

Of course, at the end of the day, the best way to enjoy a good fondue is to just dive right in – pun intended – and don’t stop sampling until you run out of cheese or chocolate.  Yes, seriously, dunk anything and everything that will fit into the pot – dinner rolls, those starlight mints they bring you at the end of the meal, scraps from other dinners that you happen to still have in your purse for reasons I don’t even want to know why.  In the wonderful world of fondue, you’re really only limited by your own imagination and the greediness of the other people you’re dining with, so just stick it in and see what happens!

Again with the unintentional sexual innuendo?!  I really need to get that looked at before next week’s column…