A Party that Makes a Slam Dunk!
Like fondue, Raclette is a participatory, social experience, best shared with friends and good wine — hellooo, party! It comes from the French word “racler,” which means to scrape — hence the scraping of cheese on everything. The cheese, itself, has a mellow, slightly earthy flavor and its texture is — you guessed it — ideal for melting.
Many myths are bandied about regarding Raclette’s coinage: the old Alpine shepherds leaving cheese too close to the fire … today, we use fancy machines to do the melting, but the results are just as story worthy.
Granted, we’re not sure where the traditional boiled potatoes, small pickles and pearl onions came in, given they aren’t likely shepherding fare, but regardless, Raclette is now host to many an accompaniment, from meats to fruits, even pickled green beans!
For the cheese part, we prefer Emmi Raclette, crafted with pasteurized Swiss milk according to an old artisan recipe. It’s aged a minimum of 60 days, is aromatic, can be mild or piquant, but always possesses a rich, nutty undertone.
Finally, what to drink (i.e. celebrate with) at your Raclette Party? Try a dry or sweet Riesling, a dry Grüner Veltliner, Beaujolais Cru, Lambic or Belgian-style ales, or a fruit-flavored American ale — cheers!