As the weather begins to cool, you may notice the resurgence of a popular and cheesy food trend of the last few years: Raclette! You may see this dish being served at get-togethers amongst your friends and family or on the newest seasonal menu at your favorite restaurant, however you may be wondering if this is a new culinary wonder or a classic dish? The answer is the latter but read more below to find out the history and significance of this hearty, warming dish!
Raclette: The Cheese
Raclette is a semi-firm, washed rind alpine cheese from the Alps region of Switzerland. Cheese has long been a staple food amongst the populations inhabiting the Alps regions of Europe. It melts amazingly well; as of course you know if you’ve enjoyed this cheese in the traditional dish before!
Raclette: The Dish
Now as much as anyone loves a pile of melty cheese, that cheese is even better melted atop other tasty foods!
The history of this dish dates back to the 12th century. Shepherds living in the Valais Canton of the Alps would hold the wheels of this cheese near their nightly fire and “racler” or scrape, the melted cheese off the wheel and onto a plate of boiled potatoes, cornichons, and perhaps a meat as well.
Do you have a favorite way to enjoy Raclette you think we should know about? Tell us on twitter @cheesecoalition! We’d love to hear from you!
Daniel McElligott – Oldways Cheese Coalition Research Associate