Word of the Day


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a meal that consists of hot liquid cheese, chocolate, or hot oil in a container, into which you put small pieces of food using a long fork

Origin and usage

The word fondue is from the Latin ‘fundere’ meaning ‘melt, pour out’. It became a French cooking term in the 15th century, meaning ‘melted cheese pudding’. Fondue first came to the English language around 1878, when it was used to describe the French dish.


Fondue refers to a dish made by warming cheese, oil or chocolate in a specially designed container over a small flame. Various foods are then dipped into the melted contents of the pot. Fondue can be savoury or sweet, eaten as a starter, a main or a dessert.

A quick internet search will yield a great number of delicious fondue recipes, with spices and herbs added to enhance the flavour of the cheese, chocolate or oil. Some of the most common foods eaten with cheese fondue include bread, pretzels, cooked or raw vegetables and various meats like chicken or beef. Dried or fresh fruit is a very popular companion to chocolate fondue, as are small cakes, biscuits and marshmallows.

Fondue is a great way to share a casual meal with friends or family, as there is very little formal serving required. The fondue pot is usually placed in the centre of the table, with smaller plates set around to hold the foods for dipping. Guests simply choose what they like and dip into the fondue pot.


“He had been on the run and hadn’t eaten for a week, and his description of the cheese fondue he smells in the peasant kitchen of a house in eastern France is unbelievable.”
(Sebastian Faulks)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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