Raclette: a very codified meal

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Winteris coming, and with it, the cold, the nightthat falls early, but also the winter meals! Everyone knows some special recipes, which are only made at a particular time of the year. Some are international, but others are morelocal.

Thatiswhy today weare going to talk about a winter speciality coming straight from France. This is called theraclette.

First of all, whats in araclette?

Raclette is a meal made up mainly of potatoes, cheese andcold meats. But be careful, this is not just any cheese: we useraclette cheesehere, and not another. You can add other ingredients of your choice, such as mushrooms, quail eggs or vegetables, depending on your preferences.

And how isthisa special dish?

Because its not quite adish. Raclette is not just about ingredients: it is above all a special way of eating.

First of all, it takes several people to eat a raclette: it is a convivial meal. Lets say minimum 3 people. Then, it is a dish that requires araclette grill, i.e. a small (or not) heating device in which very small pans can be inserted, and the cheese melted. The maximum number of guests depends on the size of the raclette machine, but it is possible to place severalgrillson the table (and therefore greatly increase the number of guests).

How exactly does it work?

On the table areplacedplates, each containing the ingredients mentioned above. There are also theraclette grills, and the guests plates.The latterchoose the ingredients they prefer, and place themintheir plates.Then, there is a sorting process: some ingredients will be eaten as they are (such as potatoes, or somecold meats), others will be grilled or melted in thegrill(such as mushrooms and of course cheese). So we take a small frying pan (called araclette) in which we place the ingredients that willbeinsertedinto thegrill.

It is important to check regularly that the food does notburn, and when it is ready, theracletteis collected andits content ispouredintothe plate (usually onnon grilledfood).

The most common mixture is to place melted raclette cheese on potatoes cut into pieces (which is the very basis of the raclette), but it is also possiblefor instanceto make smallfriedeggs with quail eggs, or to grill zucchini.

And is it good, the raclette?

From a gustatory point of view, it is undoubtedly one of the jewels of French gastronomy. Froma convivialpoint of view, it is also a wonderful moment to share with friends and family. But from adiet-consciouspoint of view, lets say that its not a meal to be consumed too regularly.

So? What are you waiting for to try?

Adlie Preux

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