Friday, January 15, 2016

Throw A Party Revolving Around Raclette

When most people think of cheese parties, they picture a wine and cheese tasting party or a fondue party. There is also another great option, a raclette party. Raclette is a traditional Swiss dish as well as the cheese commonly used in it. The cheese itself is firm with a gold to ivory color, creamy and soft consistency, a few holes, and 50 percent fat. It may be aromatic or only mildly fruity. The traditional raclette dish is basically melted cheese that is eaten with roasted or boiled potatoes, pickled onions, and small gherkins.

History Of Raclette

Raclette cheese first developed in Switzerland, specifically in the French-speaking zones of the Alpine region. The legend says that herdsmen and farmers would eat cheese (and other items) around their campfire and one day, they left the cheese too long and it melted. A farmer didn’t want to waste it, so he scraped it and decided it was delicious. Raclette quickly became a meal that was loved for being hearty and simple and those in the area discovered that raclette cheese melted the best for this purpose.

Making The Raclette

Traditionally, raclette cheese would be heated around the campfire, but due to its popularity around Europe, there are now easy-to-use machines that can do the job for you. You can find raclette machines that heat up individual servings of the cheese in tiny pans as well as larger machines that hold an entire quarter wheel and heat it using a lamp. If you don’t have one of these machines and want to host a raclette party, you can also use any non-stick pan, but expect a slight mess.

Best Cheeses To Include

Traditional raclette cheese is obviously the best option or a raclette party, but there are also other delicious options. It can be more interesting if you have several options on hand for guests to pick from. Other delicious cheeses to include are cheddar, mozzarella, feta, Gouda, Camembert, Gruyere, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, and Butterkase.

Other Foods To Have

Don’t just rely on cheese for your raclette party; you also want to have a selection of artisanal breads. Popular meat choices include roasted pork, chorizo, salami, speck, and prosciutto. You can also serve vegetables, such as cauliflower, Cipolline onions, roasted butternut squash, roasted brussel sprouts, or small potatoes. Try include sliced apples or pears to match the cheese and dried fruits, berries, and grapes to help refresh your guests’ palate. You can also use briny or acidic dishes like olives or Cornichons to refresh the palate.

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