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A fondue fountain is best known as a way to serve desserts, and is typically used at parties or other events in which several people are expected to dip different foods in it. The majority of the time, warm, liquid chocolate flows from the fountain, and people can dip cake, cookies, fruit, and other small treats into the chocolate fondue as it flows. There are various types of fountains available, from the commercial kinds that can be rented, to smaller types that are perfect for the average chocolate-lover's home.
A fondue fountain is typically equipped with a way to keep the precooked fondue warm. This way, it can flow easily and keep the same consistency throughout as it streams in ribbons from the top of the fountain to the pool of chocolate at the bottom. The melted chocolate is circulated throughout the system, always moving to stay in its warm liquid state as people briefly dip treats under the stream.
Commercial chocolate fountains can be up to about four feet (1.22 m) tall and hold more than thirty pounds (13.6 kg) of chocolate. These are typically used by catering companies at weddings, galas, company events, and any other venues where many people will be dining, or even just eating dessert. They can usually also be rented out for special occasions. This type of fondue fountain is usually made of stainless steel.
On the other hand, a fondue fountain for home use is typically good for birthday parties or other smaller events in which less than six pounds (2.72 kg) of chocolate will be needed. This kind of fountain is usually no more than about one and a half feet (0.46 m) tall, and is typically made mostly of plastic. A fountain like this can usually be purchased rather than rented since it is much smaller and more affordable than the heavy duty kind.
Before renting or purchasing a fondue fountain, it should be known that some accessories will be needed. Of course, the premade chocolate fondue is a staple, and can sometimes be purchased from the supplier of the fountain. It is necessary to also have various foods that are perfect for dipping. These usually range from small pieces of cake, cookies, and sweet breads to fruit, such as strawberries, pineapple, bananas, oranges, and raspberries. Additionally, each person will need a skewer on which to place their treats while dipping.