Saturday, November 27, 2010

One Word.....Cheese

I have to say it, shout it out, sing it to the heavens.....I LOVE RACLETTE! Oh yea, it's terribly stinky and probably not that good for you but boy is it fun to make and delicious too. We've had it the previous two Friday nights chez canadiene and I am hooked. So hooked that me and mon Mari bought our very own raclette grill yesterday afternoon. And now the raclette Friday night is on. There's no stopping us now!

To explain what it is and why I am waxing rhapsodical: raclette is cheese. Cheese that is very melty and stinky and that you can only find during the winter months. Mon Mari thinks it's akin to Velveeta because of all the melting but I'm not so sure. First of all, you have to keep it refrigerated. Second, it's a light white true cheese color rather than the garish seen-from-space yellow of our national melter. And that smell can't be man-made. It's cheese all the way....a savoyard cheese to be exact and it's called raclette because they used to heat it and then 'scrape' it onto the plate. When you type 'raclette' into google translate you get 'squeegee'. Makes sense. Squeeze cheese; but not from a can.

re-enacted raclette & grill photo; we were too greedy last night to bother with photos
How it works is comes in square slices and what you do is get your special raclette grill with its little individual cheese melting pans bought for this season and this purpose alone. You know how the French do fondue and crepes, well it's the same thing. Another gadget to buy for the sole purpose of eating a meal. Tres French.

It's cozily communal because the grill sits in the middle of the table, a pot of cooked potatoes warming on the top, along with sauteed mushrooms and green peppers, onions if you like. You serve various meats alongside too, like salami and parma ham. And of course cornichons. I also like to add grainy mustard. Then you melt the cheese in the square pans and pour it on top of the potatoes, meat, pickles--whatever tickles your fancy. It slides out of the pan, bubbly like cheese on cheese toast straight from the broiler.

Last night, my family got very creative with it and started piling the little square pan with chopped up potato, pickles and mushrooms so the cheese would melt ON TOP of these things rather than waiting to pour the cheese all on its own onto the plate full of goodies. I prefer waiting and pouring but to each his own.

And now I'm craving it again. If you live here and have never tried it (like me until two weeks ago) you definitely should. And if you don't live here I'm real sorry. Maybe you can find something like it. Or come visit. And if not, you've always got nachos and queso with melty Velveeta. I do love that too.


  1. Ooh! I had that in Switzerland & loved, loved, loved it! Luckily, the couple at the table next to us saw our confusion & showed us what to do!

  2. Hi Diane,
    It's so good isn't it? It came from Switzerland and the German area even, I think. You were smart to order it. YUM!
    I'm glad you read the blog. Thanks!

  3. Aidan, I too LOVE stinky cheese. When the girls were young they threw away a very expensive, brand new pkg of something tasty because, "mom, something was wrong with it! It stinks!". I had to explain to them what good cheese is! :)

  4. Susan, the stinkier the better! love your photo...i hope thursday was nice. neither of my pies worked. wish i'd had some of your pecan.
    love you,
    a x

  5. I've heard of it and seen the cheese, but never tried it. But melted cheese (any kind of cheese actually) is so gooood. I might try it now.

  6. Hi Anu....I owe you a lunch anyway. let's plan a raclette afternoon. u going home?
    thanks for following.
    xo a

  7. If you ever get to Paris, there is the best raclette restaurant near the Madeline. I love stinky cheese, the gooier the better.

  8. My Belle-Mere is having us over for raclette next Sunday! Can't wait! x

  9. Racelette is one of my FAVORITE things to eat in France! Ah, my mouth is watering just reading your post. Mine died last year, okay, must go get a new one, pronto!

  10. For Christmas my husband and I received a raclette grill. We used it many times throughout the winter and enjoyed sharing it with our friends...makes for a delicious dinner. The cheese is a little pricey here in Cali though.

  11. Ellie,
    I'm so glad you're reading and commenting. And from the beginning too! Thank you for joining me, I hope you have as much fun reading as I've had living and writing it.
    Oh, and I think you guys should just take the plunge and move on over.


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