It feels like winter (ça sent l’hiver)!
La raclette is a cheese made from cow’s milk (lait de vache). But it is also a popular Swiss dish where the melted cheese is scraped onto potatoes (les pommes de terre), cold meats (la charcuterie) and gherkins (les cornichons) or pickled onions (petits oignons au vinaigre).
The name comes from the French to scrape (racler). Originally, it was melted by putting the cheese next to the fire and scraping it on bread. Nowadays there are raclettes machines which consist of a grill placed in the middle of the table; each guest has a little pan (une coupelle) and a spatula (une spatule).
The dish is not for the fainthearted – it is very rich and a big favourite of after ski evenings (l’après ski)! But even if you haven’t been skiing all day, you will enjoy how sociable an occasion it is. In recent years it has been possible to find raclette machines and cheese in the UK, so no need to wait for your next trip to the Alps!
What to drink with raclette? It is usual to drink white Savoie wines or a Pouilly-Fuissé (Bourgogne), but some people prefer to use red wine from Savoie instead. Up to you (ça dépend de ce que vous aimez)!