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What You Should Know About Raclette.

April 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( If you love cheese (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), you might have heard of Raclette by now. If you have no Swiss relatives or Swiss heritage, you might not know all that much about the cheese variety itself and the tradition of eating it. Yes, in case you didn’t know, there is an etiquette to eating Raclette cheese, and some of it was passed on to Americans hailing from Switzerland.

But these days, the matter of cooking your own food and pouring a delicious helping of Raclette cheese over anything you might have placed on your plate is far easier done than said. That wasn’t a mistake; it’s actually correct.

If you’re wondering about Raclette grills and the whole shebang of the Swiss tradition, check out the facts below.

It dates back from the 13th century

This type of cheese is typical for the Valais canton in Switzerland, where herdsmen and farmers would make a meal of it by melting it by campfire or hearth. Many historians had traced back the tradition to as far as 1291, when the cheese had a different name, Bratchäs.

While back in the day, the dish as composed of potatoes and pickles and a helping of cheese, the meal has changed drastically over time. Besides the requisites, one can enjoy a wide array of foods that are eaten with the fish. They might range from all types of meat to vegetables and anything else.

What’s so special about the cheese?

Raclette isn’t like other varieties. Typical ones weigh about thirteen to seventeen pounds and are approximately ten to eleven inches in diameter. Although it is semi-firm, it has a somewhat creamy consistency compared to other varieties. And usually, it is aged from about three to four months, which means that it’s not as potent as some French types of cheese, for instance.

If you want to best Raclette, you need to look for names like Gomser, Bagnes, Orsieres, and Conches. These are usually printed on the label and suggest that they have been crafted in those areas or that the recipe was typical of those villages.

Traditional versus modern raclette machines

The typical raclette machine used by the Swiss is very basic, in that you can only use it to place the cheese onto a small platform and then wait for a heating arm to do its job and start melting it. You will have to scrap the cheese as it melts.

Raclette grills are entirely different, by comparison with their traditional counterparts. They have gained a lot of popularity over the years, and that’s because they allow a lot of multi-tasking and can even help cooks save some time in the kitchen. There’s an upper level consisting of a cooking surface and then on the bottom, under that surface, there are several small pans where you can place the cheese and wait for it to melt.

Some of these appliances come with two cooking surfaces or have a reversible one. One’s smooth, and the other can be used as a grill.

Staff Writer; Lisa Ross

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