Hailing from the Les Alps in Switzerland, raclette is a semi-hard cheese that is a part of the Swiss cuisine. The main ingredient is cow’s milk, but there are some variations of raclette that uses sheep’s milk to make the cheese. The name “raclette” is rooted from the French word for “to scrap”, which is how the raclette is generally consumed.
Today, there are many variations of the raclette, with modern ways to eat it but the distinctive taste and flavour of the cheese remain unchanged, even with the change in time. The raclette is usually eaten in slices and it is best paired with the white wine, tea and other hot beverages. It is not recommended that the raclette be paired with mineral water, as it was said to give indigestion due to the cheese hardening.
What is Raclette?
The raclette is a type of semi-hard cheese that is traditionally made with unpasteurized cow’s milk. The raclette is usually thin with a brownish-yellow skin and a few holes all over the cheese. Usually, it is served by heating up the cheese in front of a fire or a heating component and then served to the patron’s plate by scraping off the heated sides.
The delectable cheese was said to have a creamy texture when it enters your mouth with an aromatic smell. There are varying flavours of the cheese that you can select from, such as salty, nutty and milky. The raclette can be served as a vegetarian option, paired with bread and pickled vegetables.
These days, the raclette is often paired with meats, such as chicken and fish and potatoes and pickles to also be eaten with the cheese.
History of Raclette
With its long history, the raclette is much loved by the Swiss within the region and the popularity has since spread across continents, to France, Australia, Germany, Finland and many more. Not only that, the raclette was said to have originated from Canton of Valois, at the southwestern part of Switzerland.
The raclette was even mentioned in various medieval writings, from the Middle Ages, around the year 1291. Back then, the raclette was called the Bratchäs.During the earlier times, the raclette was mostly consumed my peasants and low-wage workers that lived in the craggy regions.
The cow herders will make the cheese using their cow’s milk and once the sun is setting, they will sit by the campfire to heat up the cheese and consume it with bread and potatoes for a hearty meal. The cheese was also easy to transport when farmers and workers wanted to move from one place to another.
Types of Raclette
The most popular raclette is the one from Switzerland, that is made out of unpasteurized cow’s milk. All the way in Italy, they have an Italian version of the raclette, which is called the Caciocavallo Impiccato.
The name simply means “hanging” as the cheese is served by hanging it over a barbeque and then allowing the cheese to melt. The melted part of the cheese will be scooped up by the bread, and honey will be added as toppings to enhance the sweet side of the dish.
All the way over in France at an area called Pays de Loire, the raclette is made with uncooked cow’s milk curd, with peppercorns added to it occasionally. The taste can be likened to the Swiss version, but the texture may be slightly softer than the Swiss version. The French version of raclette will be aged to about 2 months.
Where to find Raclette in Malaysia
Interested in trying out the raclette? Head on over to the Chalet Suisse Malaysia (Selangor) to get a first-hand experience of the raclette.
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