Caquelon

A caquelon is a cooking pot made from several materials, which include ceramic (compound of metallic and non-metallic elements), stoneware (ceramic ware made from non-refractory fire clay), porcelain (ceramic material made by heating materials like kaolin) and enamelled cast iron (heated iron or ferrous alloy). The pot is mostly created from heavy materials and is characterized by its thick walls, and it also has a metal stand. This cooking vessel is made specifically for the purpose of preparing fondue, a dish in which a food is dipped into the pot of hot liquid. There are actually several types of fondues which can be cooked in a caquelon: cheese (which include Swiss, Italian alpine, French alpine and ready-to-eat types), chocolate (for dipping fruit or pastry), hot oil (for dipping meat) and broth (for cooking both meat and vegetables).

The word 'caquelon' is actually from a Swiss-French terminology which originated around the 18th century from the Swiss-German word 'Kakel' which means an earthernware dish. It is a common term being utilized throughout the country of Switzerland (you can see caquelons having a design of the Swiss flag). The bottom of the pot needs a certain amount of thickness which can effectively stop the burning of melted cheese when its metal stand is placed over a portable stove at a table setting. La Religieuse or Grossmutter, in French and German respectively, refer to the edible stuffed cheese which is formed at the bottom of the pot which is discharged when the fondue has been eaten.

When you use a caquelon in Switzerland and other European places, a particular way of making and serving fondue is being followed. Garlic cloves are being rubbed on the inner part of the pot so as to slightly give a garlic flavor. When it comes to genuine cheese fondue, Emmental and Gruyere cheeses are melted in the vessel with some alcoholic beverages, specifically a cherry-flavored brandy and a white wine. Nutmeg can also be added into the fondue.

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