It's been around since Medieval Times in the Mountainous Regions of Switzerland and France.
Raclette is a dish indigenous to parts of Switzerland. The Raclette Cheese Round is heated, either in front of a Fire or by a Special Machine, then scraped onto Diners' Plates; the term Raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning "to scrape", a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the Cheese onto the Plate.
Traditionally the melting happens in front of an open fire with the big piece of Cheese facing the heat. One then regularly scrapes off the melting side. It is accompanied by small firm Potatoes, Gherkin Pickles (French Cornichons), Meat, such as thin slices of Ham or Prosciutto and Pearl Onions.
A modern way of serving Raclette involves an Electric Table-Top Grill with small pans, known as Coupelles, in which to melt slices of Raclette Cheese. Generally the Grill is surmounted by a Hot Plate or Griddle. The Cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed Potatoes, other Vegetables and Charcuterie. These are then mixed with Potatoes and topped with Cheese in the small, wedge-shaped Coupelles that are placed under the Grill to melt and brown the Cheese. Alternatively, Slices of Cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The emphasis in Raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable Eating and Drinking, the meal often running to several hours. French and other European Supermarkets generally stock both the Grill Apparatus and ready-sliced Cheese and Charcuterie selections, especially around Christmas. Restaurants also provide Raclette evenings for parties of diners.
We first experienced Raclette in France with our friends. We returned home and bought a Raclette Grill. We've also had some of our best Raclette in Borough Market, London.
The following photographs are from London's Borough Market. It's one of our favorite places to visit in London.
It's a very social event to share Raclette.This version is quite different. It make individual servings. We make this when it's just the two of us and not a group of friends of family.
Boil Whole Potatoes.
Slice off the top.
Hollow out the potato.
Filled with French Fry sized pieces of Raclette Cheese and a few Pearl Onions.
Wrap the exterior with Bacon. (I use a vegetarian bacon that's been brushed with some Olive Oil for mine)
Stand them up in a Roasting Pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes.
Transfer to a serving Platter.
Serve Garnished with Sliced Cornichons and Pearl
Peace in the Kitchen!