From fondre , the French word for "melt," the term "fondue" has several meanings.
The first three definitions pertain to food cooked in a central pot at the table.
1. Fondue au fromage is a classic dish of Swiss heritage consisting of cheese (usually EMMENTALER and GRUYÈRE) melted and combined with white wine, KIRSCH and seasonings. Bite-size chunks of French bread are dipped into the hot, savory mixture.
2. Fondue bourguignonne is a variation whereby cubes of raw beef are cooked in a pot of hot oil, then dipped into various savory sauces.
3. Another version is chocolate fondue, a combination of melted chocolate, cream and sometimes LIQUEUR into which fruit or cake may be dipped.
4. In French cooking, the term "fondue" refers to finely chopped vegetables that have been reduced to a pulp by lengthy and slow cooking. This mixture is often used as a garnish, usually with meats or fish.confit
This specialty of Gascony, France, is derived from an ancient method of preserving meat (usually goose, duck or pork) whereby it is salted and slowly cooked in its own fat. The cooked meat is then packed into a crock or pot and covered with its cooking fat, which acts as a seal and preservative. Confit can be refrigerated up to 6 months. Confit d'oie and confit de canard are preserved goose and preserved duck, respectively.
From the Epicurious.com Dictionary