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Fondue Cheese, Have you Tried it?

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When I first arrived in America I was driven to despair by the fast food there and really missed the hotpot back in my hometown. Then one weekend, American colleagues said they would take me to try Fondue Cheese.

The word Fondue is particularly interesting. According to a dictionary on the roots of American words, fondue is the negative past participle of fondre. The word means to “melt”. Put simply, fondue means melting famous American local cheeses in a special pot and dipping bread and vegetables into the hot cheese. Just thinking about it made me drool!

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According to reliable records, it was a Swiss tradition to eat hot fondue cheese; however, there are no records of why this famous Swiss dish has a French name. Colleagues say it originates from Neuchâtel in Switzerland, which is a French-speaking region of Switzerland. Perhaps this answer makes sense. However, let us forget about such lexicography and what not. After all, the whole reason I am here is to share this delicious dish with everyone.

When talking about Fondue in America, this interesting restaurant must be mentioned–The Melting Pot. It is an old restaurant that has various branches. With a history of more than 30 years, its main brand is fondue cheese and chocolate pot as well as four unique kinds of combos. The food here will make your mouth water just thinking about it! The first “The Melting Pot” was opened in Tampa in 1975 and it now has more than 100 branches all over America with patent licensing. It is the largest branch of fondue cheese restaurants.

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Even on a weekday, there are hordes of people in the restaurant. It is impossible to get a seat without booking in advance.

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Let us begin!

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Usually a pottery pot is used when eating fondue cheese. But this restaurant uses stainless steel pots which boast excellent thermal conductivity.

A close-up of the tableware.

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The first kind of combo was fondue cheese with vegetables and fruit. The pot of cheese was extremely hot with grated garlic, scallions and spicy seasoning inside.

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Here is a picture of the bread, vegetables and fruit that we had for dipping into the fondue cheese. In my opinion, the cauliflower and bread went best with the cheese, while the apple was a little strange for my taste.

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The way to enjoy fondue cheese is to dip something in it with a long fork and then eat it on a small plate on the table. Please don’t double dip (dipping an item into two different dips; because it is disgusting and rude).

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The salad in the second combo tastes good, too. I do not need to elaborate because there is no big difference between the 1st and 2nd combo. Let us move on to the cheese soup in the 3rd combo.

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This is the two-person main dish. It was so tasty. Fancy a try?

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Cooking vegetables in the pot and the dips.

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There were different dips for the meat and vegetables. Some were sweet, some were salty. Having different dips for different kinds of meat really brought out their different qualities. However, as someone from Sichuan, the chili sauce was not hot enough. When I told the waitress that it was not hot enough, she made three different kinds of chili sauce for me and eagerly asked me whether it was spicy enough now. Not wanting to disappoint her, I pretended that it was.

Otherwise, she probably would have continued making me more chili sauces.

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Everyone rushed to put the meat into the hotpot. Seeing this picture makes me hungry again.

It is best to leave the excellent lobster until the end.

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Once you have finished the meat, it is finished, but you get an unlimited supply of vegetables. If you are not full, just ask for more!

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The last combo was the chocolate pot. We ordered the Yin-Yang Pot. This Tai Chi image is made of white and black chocolate. Pretty creative and interesting, right?

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This is a picture of the food to be dipped into the chocolate pot. I liked the strawberry and banana the best. On the left are marshmallows. There is also an unlimited supply of fruit too!

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See, I stirred the Tai Chi symbol to combine the Yin and Yang.

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Strawberry was my favorite!

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Having finished everything, I still felt like I could go on.

The meal takes about three hours and costs $45 per person (excluding tips). It was not cheap, but the unique fondue cheese and chocolate pot was definitely worth tasting. I found out later that America is called a “Melting Pot”, which means a country where various cultures are integrated together like a melting pot. In terms of food, this experience eliminated my stereotype of American food and enriched my knowledge.

Location: Tampa, America

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