A food prepartion method that involves the use of a pot filled with cooking oil to cook meats or dipping ingredients to provide a warm coating to various foods. The word fondue is a French term meaning "to melt." A heat source is placed directly below a pot filled with cooking oil to cook foods or melted ingredients to dip food into. The pot is heated to bring the oil or ingredients to a temperature that fully heats or melts the contents so that food can be placed on a small fondue fork and dipped into the contents for preparation. Typical foods that are prepared by fondue pots are small pieces or cubes of toast, French bread, meat, fruits (pears, apples, and strawberries), or vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes) that are dipped into wine, cheese, chocolate, and other ingredients to be eaten as an appetizer or as part of a main meal.
Cheese fondues, which are one of the most popular types of fondue, typically use either Emmental or Gruyère cheese as the main ingredient due to their low moisture content. Other similar cheeses that can also be used include Appenzeller, Comté, Beaufort, Tête de Moine, and Hoc Ybrig. A common problem with cheese fondue is a clumping or curdling of the cheese caused by proteins in the melted cheese being kept at an excessively high temperature. Several solutions for this problem can be suggested. Adding a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons of water or wine to the melted cheese will help keep the proteins from combining together. Another solution that can be tried is to add lemon juice, lime juice or wine to the melted cheese as a means to disperse the cheese proteins.