Raclette is a delicious, creamy, semi-soft cheese that is mainly used for melting. Raclette was introduced by the shepherds and farmers in the Alps. After a cold day in the mountains, they gathered by the fire to get warm with a delicious savory meal. The name raclette comes from the French word 'racler' which means 'to scrape'. Originally, half a wheel of cheese was placed on a cast iron stand by the open fire until the top layer had melted. The melted layer of cheese was scraped off the wheel and poured over the vegetables, meat and potatoes.
Northern Alps cheese
The milk used for the raclette is from the cows that graze in the mountains. The richness of flavor comes from the fresh grass and herbs from the Northern Alps. The raclette cheese is made from raw milk and has ripened for 2 to 3 months in order to get the perfect taste. You can describe the taste as smooth and creamy with a spicy aftertaste. Raclette melts perfectly without any strings or strands and can also be used as melted cheese over other dishes.
Nowadays, an open fire to melt the raclette is no longer common. Modern restaurants have a device that heats half the raclette cheese wheel so that the cheese melts easily. At home, you can melt the cheese in special raclette pans and scrape with a spatula or in a small frying pan of a table cooking set. In case you don't have one, a regular non-stick frying pan works just fine. Eat the melted raclette over winter vegetables, boiled potatoes or salty meat. Traditionally, you can serve it with pickles and pickled onions. Raclette cheese combines wonderfully with a cold, white wine. Enjoying a wonderful evening with friends and family is incomplete without a real raclette!