Raclette is a delicious and fun way to dine! It is both a type of Swiss cow’s milk cheese and a dish. It is perfect for gathering friends and family together and sitting around a table cooking together.
The term raclette derives from the French word racler meaning to scrape. The cheese is heated on the raclette and once melted it is scraped off and eaten. Traditionally, the cheese is accompanied by baby potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, chunks of bread and dried meats. Delicious!
Raclette was mentioned in medieval writings and was often eaten by peasants in the Swiss and French Alps. Originally the cheese was melted on warm stones laid around a fire. The traditional dish dates back as far as 700 years.
The modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small wedge shaped pans, known as coupelles, to heat slices of raclette cheese in. Some raclettes come with eight coupelles allowing a good number of people to join in. The grill is surmounted by a hot plate upon which you can cook strips of beef, prawns and vegetables to accompany your coupelle of melting cheese, green salad and pommes frites!
L’Arolay at La Fornet and Le Coin Savoyarde in Val d’Isere specialise in raclette. For a home version raclettes can also be bought in stores.
Penny, Le Chardon Mountain Lodges