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Caquelon on a stove

A caquelon (French: [kak.lɔ̃]) is a cooking vessel of stoneware, ceramic, enamelled cast iron, or porcelain for the preparation of fondue, also called a fondue pot.

The word caquelon is from a Swiss French term originating in the 18th century derived from the East French dialect word kakel (from German Kachel, "glazed tile") meaning an earthenware casserole.[1] The term is in common use throughout Switzerland, and in the Franche-Comté and Provence regions of France.

The bottom of a caquelon requires a thickness sufficient to prevent burning of the melted cheese when the vessel is placed over a spirit burner at the table. Nevertheless, an encrusted layer of cheese forms on the bottom called the Grossmutter in German, La Religieuse in French, which is released when the fondue has been consumed and is shared between the diners.

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  1. ^ Dictionnaire suisse romand. Particularités léxicales du français contemporain. Conçu et rédigé par André Thibault sous la direction de Pierre Knecht avec la collaboration de Gisèle Boeri et Simone Quenet. Édition Zoé, Carouge-Genève 1997, ISBN 2-88182-316-5, p. 202–203.