I actually had Raclette on my second day in Zurich, before the visit to Le Dezaley for cheese fondue. Raclette is a Swiss dish made by melting the top layer of the cheese and scraping it away. We had Raclette the local modern way, Raclette at home using an electric table top grill with small pans.
As a first timer, I was ecstatic.
What do you need to have raclette? For a basic set, nothing much. The electric grill, potatoes, a potato bag, pickles, cheese, salt, pepper, paprika and white wine. The rest are extras.
Let me first rave about this Swiss invention of a potato bag – basically a bag to keep potatoes warm. Nothing like that in Singapore. I would have never had thought about it, but it made so much sense when we were having the raclette.
So how do you eat Raclette as the Swiss do? First, take a few potatoes and pickles and cut them up into tiny pieces. Place a Raclette cheese and put it into the pan. The supermarkets should have the cheese cut into the perfect sizes to fit the pan. Next put the pan under the electric grill. After a few minutes, your cheese should be melted. Using the wooden Raclette spatula, pour the melted cheese over the potatoes and pickles. Season with pepper, salt and paprika accordingly. Dig in. Repeat several times.
So much fun! The fun of having Raclette is that it is eaten in a totally non-formal, laid back manner. The night we had Raclette, we took our time having multiple helpings and finishing up a bottle of Swiss wine. Exactly, how a vacation should be.