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Cooking glossary

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Fondue pan

A deep, heavy-based saucepan which is used to cook, and serve, a traditional Swiss melted cheese dip known as a fondue (from the French for melted). The first fondue pans were made from thick earthenware, so that the cheese melted slowly and did not become stringy. Nowadays they are more likely to be made of copper, stainless steel or a combination of both, or cast iron. The dip is kept hot by a small spirit lamp, with an adjustable flame, which sits underneath the pan at the table. A classic fondue is made with a combination of cheeses such as Gruyère and Emmental and a softer cheese such as Raclette or Apenzell, white wine, garlic and flour to prevent curdling. The diners use long-handled forks to dip cubes of bread or vegetables into the cheese. If you do not have a fondue set with a table burner, you could use a plate warmer under a saucepan or heatproof dish instead.