Raclette is a Swiss semi-hard cow's milk cheese. It was first developed in the Alps - home to a number of aromatic cheeses. Like most cheeses, Raclette is made by coagulating milk, separating curds and aging under controlled conditions.
Raclette is sold when it reaches at least three months, but most people prefer the aged types. The most famous use of raclette is to prepare the eponymous dish.
History of Raclette
The history of cheese dates back to Roman times when it was used as currency exchange. Its name comes from the verb "racler", which means "scrape". It was mentioned in the Middle Ages, when it was highly respected among the peasants in the mountainous parts of France and Switzerland. In the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, the cheese is called Bratchas, which literally means "grilled cheese".
Traditional Swiss shepherds took it with the, during the transition through the mountain pastures and in the evening placed it near the fire and it became rubbery enough to be poured over a slice of bread.
Although the origin of the cheese is Swiss, it is made in France too and some U.S. manufacturers offer their own version of Raclette.
Selection and storage of Raclette
Raclette can be purchased in larger grocery chains and deli shops. The original cheese costs a bit more per kilogram, but there cheaper options that cost twice as less. In French, German and Swiss countries, food stores sell the cheese directly with the grill needed to make it. In others, you can also buy this grill and the price ranges from 20 to 40$.
Raclette in cooking
Raclette is eaten melted and served on a variety of dishes. It tends to have a raw odor, but after baking, it is surprisingly enjoyable. Its melting used a special device that is somewhere between a small stove and a small grill. Scrape from the surface of the unit and serve. That's why the cheese is named raclette, which, as already mentioned, comes from "racler" - scrape.
If you have such a device, you can prepare this cheese on an open fire. To the delicious melted Raclette, add different vegetables – like small pre-cooked onions and potatoes. The taste is complemented by excellent dried meat - quality ham, prosciutto, pastrami, etc..
Some of the Swiss cheese is served with tea or similar hot drinks, and white wine. An interesting fact is that Raclette is never served with water, it is believed that it hardens in the stomach and thus significantly hampers digestion.
One of the most advanced options for processing Raclette is a specially designed grill that has small pans with handles in which the cheese is heated to melt. Often combined with steamed or cooked tomatoes. Another option for its consumption is the completely melted option - then you can use it as a sauce for the main course.
Raclette grill is a great option for making quick dinner for many people, it is also an ideal food for the winter months. Combine with potatoes, pickles, small onions, ham and meats.
We offer an amazing and quick recipe that takes just raclette cheese, ham and potatoes, and is quantified according to portions. Boil potatoes, melt cheese and put thinly sliced ham on. If you don’t have the melting unit, put the cooked potatoes in a baking dish, sprinkle with ham and Raclette and bake for about 15 minutes. In this recipe, the most time is consumed by cooking the potatoes. The dish is quite caloric, but on account of it - very tasty.
Naturally, one can not overlook the popular eponymous raclette recipe. Required items : 200 g Raclette cheese for each serving, 1 small jar of pickled onions, 1 jar of pickles, 2 boiled potatoes per serving.
Method: Cut the cooked potatoes into large pieces. Spread them evenly in a clay pot. On them arrange sliced cheese, so as to cover all the potatoes. Bake in a pre- heated oven. Remove them from the heat and garnish each serving with pickles and onions. This dish is accompanied well by white and red wines.