Monday, October 24, 2011

Raclette de Franche Comte

Fairly firm in its natural state, this full-flavored and beefy French cow's milk cheese is from the mountainous Franche Comte region. Raclette has a semi-soft interior dotted with small holes and a rosy inedible rind. Eaten as a table cheese, Raclette has a smooth, creamy taste that is neither too salty nor sharp.

 A wonderful melting cheese, it is used to make a dish called "raclette," where the cheese is heated until bubbly and liquid and scraped over boiled or roasted potatoes. The name comes from the French verb "racler," which means "to scrape." Making the dish involves heating a chunk of cheese until the top softens enough to be scraped off and layered atop potatoes boiled in their skin, served with pickles and sliced meats.
Raclette was mentioned in medieval writings as a particularly nutritious meal consumed by peasants in mountainous Switzerland and France. It was then known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland as Bratchäs, or "roasted cheese." Traditionally, the Swiss cow herders used to take the cheese with them when they were moving cows to or from the pastures up in the mountains. In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, when it had reached the perfect softness, scrape it on top of some bread. 

Traditionally served with a white wine, such as Savoy or Fendant, though Riesling and Pinot Gris are also common. 

No comments:

Post a Comment