Swiss Raclette Hot Meal
“Raclette is an ancient mountain cheese common to the Savoie region in France and the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Although the cheese has a pleasant enough flavor, it is not particularly special until is it heated in front of a fire or under a hot grill. Then the full, nutty, sweet and slightly fruity aroma intensifies and the stringy elasticity of the melting cheese makes it truly magnificent. The rind has a farmyard aroma. When grilled it becomes really crunchy and has a wonderful savory flavour.
Traditionally, a large cheese was cut in half and leant against a stone with the cut surface facing the open fire. The outer layer of the supple interior was allowed to heat up gradually. As soon as it started to crinkle and change colour, a bowl of steaming potatoes would appear, to be smothered in an avalanche of bubbling cheese. The aroma was irresistible and the rich, nutty, sweet flavour of the cheese was the perfect partner for the potatoes. Nowadays, the dish can be created by heating slices of cheese under the grill.”
- From “The World Encyclopedia of Cheese,” Juliet Harbutt (Hermes House, 1998, 2009, 2010), page 40