Fondue sets have always seemed a little cheesy to me (forgive the pun). However, a recent array of offerings has me rethinking; after all, when you do find yourself hunkered down around a bubbling fondue pot (ideally high in the Swiss Alps, as I once did), it's a pretty idyllic way to spend a winter evening.
N.B.: We've included a Mark Bittman recipe below (in our humble opinion, one of the better fondue recipes to be had).
Above: Our favorite is the Mami Fondue Pot with Burner with black ceramic pot by Alessi; $350 from Huzza.
Above: The Mami Bourguinonne Fondue Set with stainless steel pot with walnut brown handle by Alessi; $314 from Huzza.
Above: The Le Creuset Fondue Pot is available in Marseille blue, red, or flame from Williams-Sonoma (it comes with six color-tipped wood handled forks).
Above: The Emile Henry Quart Fondue Set is made from Burgundy clay; $100 from Amazon.
Above: The Cast Iron Fondue Set in red from Crate & Barrel is $39.95 and comes with eight chrome forks with plastic color-tipped handles
Above: The Fondue Set in Cast Iron by Staub includes six forks: $157 from Royal Design.
Above: The cast iron Boska Holland Cheese Pro Fondue Set includes six wood-handled forks; $86.99 from Amazon.
Above: The Mauvel M'Cook Fondue Pot is made from three layers of heat-responsive aluminum sandwiched between exterior and interior layers of stainless steel for even distribution of heat; $199.95 from Williams-Sonoma.
Above: A budget option: the Fondue for Two with ceramic pot; $20 from Uncommon Goods.
Mark Bittman's fondue recipe, from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian ($19.48 from Amazon).
• 2 cups dry white wine
• 1 large clove garlic, crushed (optional)
• 2 T cornstarch; mixed with water to make a slurry
• 1 lb Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
• 1 lb Emmenthal cheese, grated (4 cups)
Combine wine and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a slow bubble.
Gradually stir in cheese until melted and creamy; do not let boil. Whisk slurry in and cook until thickened. If fondue is too thick, add a little more wine.
Have a better fondue recipe (or a favorite pot)? We would love to know.
See more 10 Easy Pieces.