Fondue is a traditional Swiss/French dish of melted cheese that's served in a communal pot in the middle of the dining table for everyone to dip into with breadsticks, bread cubes and crudités. Since the 50's, however, the name 'fondue' has also been used to describe dessert dishes of melted chocolate or caramel that fruits are dipped into. Read on for some savoury fondue recipes, sweet fondue recipes and some ideas on what you can dip into the different fondues.

Fondue is also a style of cooking, whereby a pot of hot oil or stock is bought to the table. The guests then use the oil or stock to cook their food individually, be it meat, cheese or breadsticks. This type of fondue is commonly served with sauces so the guests at the table can cook their food and then dip it into a sauce.

The first recipe for today's most common fondue, the cheese fondue, was published way back in 1699. This recipe called for cheese, melted with wine, with bread dipped into the mixture. It developed into Switzerland's national dish. Starch is generally added to stabilise the mixture and to prevent it from splitting, along with other seasonings such as herbs or chilli.

Chocolate fondues tend to be a mixture of chocolate, cream, liquor and butter, much like a ganache but with differing quantities so that the mixture stays runny rather than sets. Check above for some variations on this delectable dessert.