Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

raclette is the name of both a cheese and of a dish made from it, the speciality of the Swiss canton of Valais; see switzerland.

The cheese is high in fat and semi-soft, making it particularly suitable for melting. The flavour is mild and rich. A whole cheese is a flattish disc weighing about 6 kg (13 lb), with a reddish rind. It is matured for four to seven months.

Racler means ‘to scrape’. The dish is traditionally made by exposing the cut surface of half a cheese to a fire and progressively scraping off the melted cheese onto a hot plate, to be eaten with baked potatoes and pickled white onions (and other accompaniments, as desired). Nowadays there are special electrical devices which permit those who do not have blazing log fires in Alpine shelters to prepare the dish in the comfort of their own kitchens or on a restaurant table.