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All About Raclette

One of the things I love most about cheese is that it isn't just a delicious food; it's an experience. From observing to tasting to selecting to serving, the entire process is one that captures all the senses, culminating in that "oooooh!" of flavor. Of course, cheese is very visual, and none more so than the beloved Raclette.

Before we watch the "Raclette Experience," let's answer a few questions.

1) What is Raclette? Raclette is three things, actually. A) Raclette is the name of a cow milk cheese that hails from both France and Switzerland. It is a large wheel (about 11 lb.) with a pungent washed rind and a dense but creamy paste. The flavor is fruity and tangy, with definite "oomph." B) Raclette is the name of a dish that involves melting the surface of the cheese, then scraping it onto a plate. C) A Raclette is a special grill used to melt the surface of the cheese without heating the entire wheel, so the surface become gooey and runny—perfect for scraping.

2) Why do we use Raclette in this way? Raclette is one of the greatest melting cheeses on the planet. The perfect combination of fat and moisture, plus its ability to retain flavor when heated, means that Raclette melts like a dream and still tastes dreamy.

3) What tastes great with Raclette? Just about anything! The classic pair is potatoes, cornichons, and pickled onions, but charcuterie, steak, grilled veggies, baguette slices, etc. will all be enhanced the addition of melted Raclette.

Now, watch and drool...