Tonight I was invited to Sebastien’s house to enjoy raclette for dinner. When he told me he intended to make raclette for us, I just looked blankly at him and shrugged. I had never heard of this food before, and Sebastien explained that it is melted cheese. Oh, I exclaimed! It’s like a fondue. It was Sebastien’s turn to look blankly at me, and then he said, well, sort of, but it’s not melted cheese in a pot. It’s melted cheese in a grill.
Swiss in origin and eaten by many a mountain peasant since medieval times, this meal is quite hearty and seems to be intent on allowing people to store as much fat as they can for the winter! You basically eat raclette by heating the raclette cheese around a fire (or on a grill in the modern day) and eat it with small potatoes, meats, pickles, onions, and salad. We had 8 kinds of raclette cheese, all of them delicious but I haven’t a clue what they were called, some of them had peppers, one was made with onion, one was plain, and so on. For meats, we had peppered sausage, Lyonnais special sausage, ham, and bacon.
So, after you load your plate with these goodies, you take a little raclette dish, put one piece of cheese in it, and stick it in the grill to melt it.
After your cheese melts, you pour it on top of your meat and potatoes and enjoy! Repeat with as many pieces of cheese as you want!
One day, I will have a raclette grill chez moi, and I will have raclette parties and remember my days in France. I will remember these dear people who have shown me some of their culture.
I’m off to Avignon tomorrow and then back to Boston for the next week. Forgive my delay on blogging about Dijon and Mulhouse, but don’t you worry. Soon this blog will be adorned with pictures of Christmas markets, lights, and festivities. A bientot!