Do you like cheese? To most people, that’s like asking whether they like to breathe. Cheese makes all sorts of things better. From pizza to nachos, cheesy goodness is a delicious part of many favorite foods.

There’s even one type of food experience that revolves around dipping different foods into hot, melted cheese. What are we talking about? fondue, of course!

fondue is an old tradition that got its start in Switzerland several hundred years ago. Back then, people would store breads and cheeses for use throughout the winter. When spring arrived, they would clean out their stored breads and cheese, only to find that some of it was dried out and not too appetizing.

In order to make use of the food and avoid wasting it, they came up with an inventive way to make it taste better. They would melt all their cheeses together in one big pot and then dip their crusty bread into it.

They named this creation fondue, from the French word that means “to blend” or “to melt.” For the Swiss, fondue was more than a meal, though. It became a social event that people looked forward to every year.

Over time, fondue became popular around the world. Today, fondue sets can be bought in stores everywhere. A typical fondue set will include a pot for the cheese, some type of heating element to keep it warm and a variety of long forks to dip breads and other foods into the cheese.

fondue is still a social event, as you will hear people refer to “fondue parties” where many people will gather to socialize and enjoy different types of fondue. There are even fondue restaurants that have taken fondue to the next level.

At fondue restaurants, you will find many types of fondue beyond simple cheese. fondue restaurants may feature various meats that can be cooked in heated broth or oil. The cooked meats are then often dipped in a variety of sauces.

If you eat at a fondue restaurant, make sure you save room for dessert. Chocolate fondue has become a popular dessert treat at fondue restaurants, as well as at parties and at home. Various types of chocolate can be melted together to form a dip for pieces of cake, fruits, marshmallows and even cookies!

If you like fondue, there are a couple of rules of etiquette to keep in mind. Don’t double dip! To avoid spreading germs from one person to another, just dip each piece of bread — or meat or fruit — into the fondue just once. It’s also a good idea to use your fondue fork only to transport your food from the fondue pot to your plate — not your mouth!

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