Monday, 25 August 2014

Raclette - A Traditional Swiss Dinner...

 While I was in Kaitaia friends, Al and Teresa, invited us for 'Raclette'.
Translated it means 'Poor man's winter food' but Racette is a cheese
first eaten as early as the 16th century by the people of the mountainous
Canton Valais of Switzerland. The name 'Raclette' is derived from the 
French verb "racler' - to scrape. In the old tradition, cow
 herdsman took the cheese when moving cows in mountain pastures. 
In the evenings they would place the cheese next to the fire 
and when soft scrape it onto bread.

 Today table top Raclette grills are more usual, creating the
opportunity for a tasty social meal with friends... This is what we enjoyed.
Raclette is a staple of wintertime Switzerland.
It is essentially melted cheese, served over boiled potatoes with lots of 
ground black pepper, accompanied by small pickled onions and gherkins.

 This is the 'Coupelle' used to melt the slices of cheese
underneath the electric table top grill. The smaller tool is used
for cooking the  - 'Charcuterie' meats and vegetables that are
then put on top of a boiled potato, cut in half, piled with
whatever you have cooked on top of the grill plus the gerkins
and pickled onions and topped with the melted Raclette.

 Raclette has a lovely rich taste and with its special melting properties.
 Teresa bought this block of Raclette from the Dutch cheese
shop in Kaiwaka... Phone and order one day, it's delivered
to your door the next day.

 Cutting it into slices with the special cheese cutter...

 Ready to grill...

 Our 'Charcuterie' - Ham, pineapple, mushrooms...

 Beef, bacon... What a spread... Plus the traditioal
gerkins, pickled onions, olives...

 Traditionally this meal is eaten in Switzerland on 1st August
The Swiss National Day since 1290 when Switzerland became
a federation. I could eat it any day!

It was delicious... Served with copious wine... The emphasis in 
raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, 
the meal often running to several hours.

A fabulous winter time treat and option to the summertime BBQ.

I think I'll be getting a Raclette grill to use in my bus.
Thank you Teresa and Al for a great new eating experience.

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