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Raclette /rəˈklɛt/ is a semi-hard cow's milk swiss cheese that is usually fashioned into a wheel of about 6 kg (13 lb). It is most commonly used for melting. It is also a Swiss[1][2][3] dish (also popular in France) based on heating the cheese and scraping off (from French: racler) the melted part.

Raclette
Raclette2.jpg
Country of origin Switzerland
Region, town Valais
Region Alps
Source of milk Cows
Pasteurised No
Texture semi-hard
Aging time 3-6 months
Certification AOC 2003-2013
AOP since 2013
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

Contents

HistoryEdit

Raclette was mentioned in medieval writings in texts from Swiss-German convents dating from as far as 1291,[4] , it's a particularly nutritious meal[citation needed] originally consumed by peasants in the mountainous Alpine regions of Valais (Switzerland), Savoie and Haute-Savoie (France). It was then known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland as Bratchäs, or "roasted cheese". Traditionally, cow herders used to take the cheese with them when they were moving cows to or from the pastures up in the mountains. In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, when it had reached the perfect softness, scrape it on top of bread.

In Switzerland raclette is typically served with tea or other warm beverages or Fendant while another French popular option is to serve raclette with white wine, such as the traditional Savoy wine, but Riesling and pinot gris are also common. Local tradition cautions that other drinks – water for example – will cause the cheese to harden in the stomach, leading to indigestion.

DishEdit

 
A table-top raclette grill with typical accoutrements.

Raclette is also a dish indigenous to parts of Switzerland.[5] The raclette cheese round is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners' plates; the term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning "to scrape", a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the cheese onto the plate.

Traditionally the melting happens in front of an open fire with the big piece of cheese facing the heat. One then regularly scrapes off the melting side. It is accompanied by small firm potatoes (Bintje, Charlotte or Raclette varieties), gherkins, pickled onions, and dried meat, such as jambon cru/cuit, salami, and viande des Grisons, and to drink, Kirsch, herbal tea or Fendant (wine from the Chasselas grape).

A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, in which to melt slices of raclette cheese. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, other vegetables and charcuterie. These are then mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese in the small, wedge-shaped coupelles that are placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The emphasis in raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, the meal often running to several hours. French and other European supermarkets generally stock both the grill apparatus and ready-sliced cheese and charcuterie selections, especially around Christmas. Restaurants also provide raclette evenings for parties of diners.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Raclette". myswitzerland.com. 
  2. ^ {cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/raclette_88309%7Ctitle=RBBC Food - Recipes - Raclette|work=bbc.co.uk}}
  3. ^ {cite web|url=https://www.britannica.com/place/Switzerland/Daily-life-and-social-customs#ref907715%7Ctitle=Switzerland-Daily life and social customs|work=britannica.com}}
  4. ^ "La raclette". Raclette-suisse.ch. 
  5. ^ What is Raclette