After hearing that I had never tried raclette my hosts Kendra and Judy set about planning a dinner of raclette despite it being a winter meal. I cannot described how very touched and honoured I was by the meal. Having a meal prepared in my honour does not happen very often for me and I’ll never forget it.
Now what the heck is raclette? Well, it’s probably more popular to the Swiss than you and I think. It’s not all fondue you know. Raclette is a grill and an oven. It’s an experience. Its a gathering for hours of slow eating and chatting and entertainment during the cold winter months. More technically it’s a cooking tool where the bottom shelf holds the oven while the top shelf grills the meat and vegetables.
You begin with this small pan where you place a slice of swiss cheese and top the cheese with onions, mushrooms, spices and anything else you’d fancy.
You then stick that little pan in the oven and wait impatiently for it all to melt while snacking on olives, cornichons, artichokes and other small dishes.
When your glorious pile of cheese melts you pull it out, scrape it onto your plate, and enjoy it on some boiled potato slices. But the trick, as I have learned, is to quickly assemble another tray of cheese and stick it back in the oven before you begin eating so that your next round is ready by the time you are done….or if you are like my friend Kevin, whose family is hosting me here in Switzerland, you have 2 pans to yourself and in the oven at the same time.
So there you have it….raclette