Unitasker Wednesday: Personal Fondue Mugs, set of 2

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Fondue is one of those things that when you eat it you feel like it’s the ’70s and you’re in France. Ooh la la! Oui! Right on! It’s a communal experience. It’s a chance to wield a sharp fork in close proximity to your friends and family. It’s one of the rare times you can stuff your face with gobs of saturated fat in the form of hot cheese and chocolate and no one judges you harshly because you’re sharing a fancy meal.

However, this week’s unitasker selection takes all of those awesome things about fondue and destroys them. Introducing the Personal Fondue Mugs:

Nothing about these mugs is a throwback to the ’70s or France. Mugs with candles in them screams, “21st century America!” It also screams, “Danger! Danger! Watch out for the tipsy lady walking around the party with molten hot cheese and an open flame!”

These mugs kill the communal, shared experience of fondue. They even kill the awesome long sharp fork and the ability to wield them near those you love. These mugs ruin fondue fun.

I also can’t come up with another situation in which you could use these. You certainly can’t drink out of any container with an open flame. I imagine doing so would drip candle wax (and eventually the whole candle) right down the front of your shirt — which, let’s all agree, is just patently unsafe. And, for $15 and another $5 in shipping and handling, you only get 2 mugs. To use these at a dinner party, you would want more than 2, and end up spending a good chunk of change to be able to offer a mug to each of your guests.

… and now I want fondue and to find a way to work, “can you dig it,” into a conversation … I shake my fist at you, unitasker fondue mugs!

22 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Personal Fondue Mugs, set of 2”

  1. posted by Liz E. on

    My reaction: hahahahaha this is an accident waiting to happen

    My non-unitasker solution: built-in cubby for tiny cookies or muffin(s). Just be careful to tilt the mug the right way when drinking to avoid dumping the bite-sized, sugar-laden goodies out on the floor and ruining the par-tay =P

  2. posted by Jeanne Thelwell on

    I live alone and I adore fondue. I have gone to restaurants and ordered the fondue just for me! If I thought cheese fondue ingredients would actually melt with a tea candle, I’d be tempted. (If I have to make it in pot and pour it in, what’s the point? 🙂 )

  3. posted by Don on

    I disagree with your conclusion about the nature of fondue; the idea of personalized cheese blends has some appeal, I think. But wow this is a horribly crap way to do it, particularly given that we’ve had those little disc mug warmers for decades now.

    Of course that’s why – no money selling commodities rather than stupid unique crap.

  4. posted by guest on

    Fondue. not “French” but Swiss, Italian and French. The very first recipe was Swiss. Also more variations (nowadays)…cheese, fat (for meat),broth, tomato/cheese, chocolate..Fondue is not 70s for me, it’s christmas/new years eve.
    But this one is definitely weird and defies the purpose, I agree.

  5. posted by Fran on

    fondue for germaphobes!

  6. posted by Katherine on

    I was thinking that this might be useful for those of us who live in hurricane zones to heat up soup or something if we lose power for an extended time and don’t have a lot of water to clean up with. But… so does a regular fondue pot. Or a camp stove.

  7. posted by Erin Doland on

    @guest — Fondue might be Swiss, but in my brain it’s French. It’s like General Tso’s Chicken, which is 100% American, but in my brain it’s Chinese.

  8. posted by Christina on

    These are fabulous. Just thinking…wouldn’t the handle get hot?

  9. posted by Marrena on

    so right in every particular

  10. posted by priest's wife (@byzcathwife) on

    a tea light can’t be hot enough (even to keep it hot after you make the fondue in a normal pot)

  11. posted by traindriverpriest on

    Our local chocolate shop (we live in a tourist area) offers real hot chocolate in which the milk comes in a cup like this with tea light heating and a bowl of chocolate drops. It’s yummy and the kids love it! They provide a hollow stainless steel spoon – being hollow the spoon is also a straw. That way you don’t have to worry about tipping the candle down your front. I do wonder how they clean the straw/spoon however!

  12. posted by ChrisD on

    A friend of mine bought something similar where the candle part was a separate stand for one matching cup, so you could keep your cup of tea warm between sips. A fundamental feature that this combined cup/flame is missing. That would be mildly useful for me as my cup of coffee always gets cold at work.

    I don’t know how long it would take for the candle to melt so much cheese, I have a raclette set for two that needs to be powered by four or five candles to melt a half cm thick slice of cheese (to be fair it does this very well).

    New Years resolution, make fondue! We already had Tete de Moin cheese for christmas thanks to inspiration from a December Unitasker post.

    P.S. Yes as a Swiss person I didn’t like having Fondue attributed to France it is very Swiss. Your disclaimer was essential.

  13. posted by Cal on

    My first meal in Switzerland was fondue in a little touristy mountain-side town. It was such a lovely thing to eat when it was freezing cold and damp outside.

    That tea light is certainly not going to do the trick for melting cheese. And anything more powerful than that is going to heat up the mug too. This is so poorly thought out.

    Really, I suspect my coffee cup and electric warmer set would do a better job of it. But the best portable mini-fondue maker of all is a little bitty slow cooker. Most folks I know already own one for making old fashioned Tex-Mex queso (Velveeta with Ro-tel) for parties.

  14. posted by Lizzie on

    Funny that this was just the unitasker…I have a friend who was just trying to decide if she was up for making fondue for a bunch of kids in the height of flu season and we were wishing for a more sanitary option. (Not that she’d actually want these.)

    Back when I used to make fondue I always made it on the stovetop and then moved it to the little burner…I don’t think the candle is supposed to make it melt.

  15. posted by MixinItaly on

    I live in northern Italy where they serve “bagna caoda”, literally meaning hot bath. It is a smooth mix of anchovies, garlic, olive oil and bit of cream, and is eaten with raw vegetables and potatoes dipped into the hot bath. There are usually a few ceramic pots on the table, with tea candles under them to keep the mixture warm. The tea candle actually does a good job of keeping a precooked mixture warm. Sometimes there are individual pots, too. These mugs have the right idea, but with a glass of heavy red wine to accompany it, I would be REALLY afraid of picking the mug up the wrong way and dumping that tea candle on myself!!

  16. posted by MixinItaly on

    Here is a good photo of the meal:

    BTW, it is an excellent dish, and with all the antioxidants of the garlic and anchovies and the vitamins that the veggies offer, you can ward off any winter cold coming on.

  17. posted by Jodi on

    Oh, I wouldn’t buy this, but…

    1. It could double as a regular mug (just don’t use the candle) and bonus, you have a way to keep your coffee warm while you’re in that board meeting. (Okay, there may be safety issues with that…perhaps a place to store a mini-muffin?)

    2. It could double as a poporui warmer, replacing this type of unitasker: http://s.ecrater.com/stores/51.....51111b.jpg

    3. It could be used to melt butter for air popped popcorn.

    4. It could be used for a candle holder (perhaps nothing fancy, but I love candles and this would be a lot more stable than the unitaskers designed to hold tea light candles).

  18. posted by Lenore on

    Actually, this could be very Seoul in the case of food allergies. I can attest to the no-fun-ness of not being able to take part in birthday ace celebrations, etc., due to gluten issues. Some family members have red mea allergies. Having a separate pot could make fondue doable.

  19. posted by Jill on

    OMG, when I first saw this, I thought cool. This year at Christmas Eve I was thinking that it would have been fun to have fondue but our family has a very traditional meal every year. You are right about the communal aspect of fondue. Thanks for the laugh!!

  20. posted by ninakk on

    The tea light would perhaps not be enough for cheese, but I think chocolate could melt rather quickly. And the fact that it could double as a coffee mug isn’t too stupid. I don’t have the huge fondue set for cheese or chocolate, and living alone means consuming much smaller volumes compared to a family. I would never start a large chocolate fondue for just me. Philosophizing out loud here…

  21. posted by Susan on

    @MixinItaly Ha ha ha! I was actually coming here to comment that I made bagna cuda for a recent party and I was searching high and low for something like this to keep it warm on the serving table.

  22. posted by Ellen on

    Melt the cheese in a pot, pour into separate mugs, and the one gluten intolerant person in our family can use his gluten free bread, while the rest of us use normal bread. Works for me.

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