Raclette or fondue

The cheese called Raclette is now commonly found on the shelves of our cheese factories and grocery stores, more generally in the form of ready-to-use slices.

This popular cheese has a rather old history, which goes back at least a few centuries: the origin of the term “raclette cheese” comes from the use that was made of it: cut in two, the wheel of cheese was approached, sliced ​​side, to a flame to heat it.

Once hot, the cheese that had started to melt was scraped off, then the melted cheese was placed on boiled potatoes and dried mountain meats.

This traditional method continues and is even tending to return to the taste of the day for its noble side that charms these lovers of the table called foodies. It is in the Alps, more precisely the Swiss Alps, that this cheese and this mode of consumption find their origins. Like all mountain and mountain cheeses, 

Raclette

Was a way of keeping abundant milk in spring and summer to be consumed, transformed, in winter: several producers also pooled their milk (birth of cooperatives) to manage to manufacture large grindstones which have greater aging potential, allowing them to pass the winter. Among these cheeses for keeping, there is of course Raclette, which could weigh up to 5 kg, but let’s not forget the famous gruyere wheels which could weigh more than 40 kg.

The less abundant milks from the fall and winter milkings were made into smaller-sized cheese, on every farm, every family, for more immediate use. And from there are born the tommes and the Reblochons. Fondue would have originated in the French Alps, some say. But Switzerland and France still dispute the paternity of this beautiful “ invention ” today. The fondue arises from the need to pass, towards the end of winter, the dried cheeses, as well as all the rinds or leftovers of cheese, because at this time we are talking about here 17th Century – it was a matter of survival in these hard-to-work, little-giving mountainous regions.

These two ways of consuming cheese, hot and melted, naturally gave it the virtue of being nourishing, comforting and “ warming ”. Beyond these qualities, these specialties were also social dishes, which young and old could share, but also an important detail to easily eat. Why is this detail so important? At the time, many adults, by their late thirties, did not already have many teeth. 

Principle of fondue and raclette Raclette

is simply a cheese that is melted and lightly browned, then placed on a filling of your choice. Traditional garnishes included potatoes and cured meats and hams, including cured beef such as Grisons Meat or prosciutto-type cured ham. The whole was raised by what are called variants, small vegetables and vinegar condiments: small white onions, pickles, carrots …

You can use in addition to a raclette with cow’s milk or with goat milk, any tomme type cheese such as Tomme de ch vre or Fruitier de Mont r gie .

The fondue

You have to cook a little to prepare this dish, but the principle is simple: just melt a mixture of cheeses while preventing them from separating, producing a liquid top and bottom. Elastic. To make a nice smooth fondue, you will need white wine, a little bit of starch, a few cloves of garlic, pepper and nutmeg and, of course, cheese.

You will need approximately one glass of wine (25 cl) per 200 g portion of cheese, diluting a little starch in the cold wine: one to two teaspoons for 4 glasses of wine . Use a clove of garlic to rub a casserole dish or thick-bottomed saucepan, pour in the wine and bring it to a gentle boil. At this point, all you have to do is add the mixture of grated cheeses all at once and stir over medium heat (on too high a heat, this is where you risk break into fondue). Season with pepper, a peeled and peeled garlic clove and a pinch of grated nutmeg.

The principle of this dish is simple. You dip pieces of dry or oven-dried bread into the fondue and serve it with a good crunchy green salad.

Which cheeses work best?

Choose low moisture, firm and cooked cheeses. We will prioritize 3 cheeses. We will start with a cheese of the Gruyere type, more saline, to which we will add a more fruity cheese such as Comt or Louis d’Or. Then add a last cheese to give the fondue its classic touch; We will then think of a Swiss Appenzeler or Tilsiter type cheese, or even a Vacherin. But nothing prevents you from putting your touch of originality and a marked note by also adding goat tomme , or black goat …

Did you know?

We often confuse Gruyere and Emmental.
Although both originate from Switzerland, these two cheeses are very different.

The Gruyre is a blind pte is – that it has no holes, and it is covered with a natural rind called smear, which s ‘somewhat apparent to a washed rind, but dry.

Emmental, meanwhile, is a so-called open dough, because it has holes, oval and very shiny, the result of a specific fermentation in a hot cellar which gives the cheese its taste. t finely spicy if characteristic.