Bringing Europe Home

Raclette-www.bringingeuropehome.com

Raclette

WHAT IT IS

Raclette is a type of cheese and also a manner for eating it.  It melts beautifully and easily, and in Switzerland you can find restaurants carving long, gooey slices from large hunks of raclette cheese, to be draped over potatoes and served up to grateful customers.  While in Germany, we discovered an appliance for do-it-yourself raclette.  And I bought one.

 

As you can see, this is called a “Party Raclette,” and I can’t think of a more enticing name for a kitchen appliance.  Indeed, my daughter was introduced to this at a slumber party, where the girls each made their own eggs in the individual pans for their breakfast. We also went to a dinner party at the home of German friends that featured raclette.  My family received our “Party Raclette” as a Christmas Eve gift (from me :-)), and making raclette became our Christmas Eve tradition while we lived there.

My kids loved to create their own melted cheese dishes by putting slices of cheese over their collections of fruits and vegetables and slipping their pans into the heating unit, while pineapple and ham sizzled on the grill above.

Included in the set are eight separate pans (enough for a small party or a large family) and small plastic utensils for scraping off every bit of cheesy goodness.

There is even a lengthy extension cord in the box.

Unfortunately, when we returned to the States, we had to retire our Party Raclette to the high storage shelves of our basement, because we do not have a power converter with high enough amperage for it.  (I’m quoting my spouse here—I don’t normally use words like “amperage.”)  I have seen some of these appliances advertised by Williams-Sonoma, but as we already own one— inoperative though it is—I couldn’t quite justify purchasing another.

BRING IT HOME

Imagine my surprise, then, when I spied a pile of these Raclette packages while grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s!  While extremely excited, I was also smugly pleased because I knew just what to do with them…These packages come filled with about ten slices of raclette, and all you need to enjoy them are an oven and some potatoes and vegetables. The packaged cheese kept for a few weeks in my refrigerator, and it was a handy thing to pull out for a meatless meal on a Lenten Friday.

I bought two packages, and that was only a tad bit more than my husband, two teenage boys, and I needed for dinner.  I lined up the slices on a parchment covered baking sheet and put them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes (as the package directed).

 The cheese did come out golden and bubbly, as promised, and the slices blanketed beautifully over our assortment of broccoli, asparagus, boiled red potatoes, and apples.

It wasn’t quite a party raclette—but we all cozied-up with our plates and watched a movie, and that made for a wonderful family night.

25 Comments

  1. So interesting! I love Europe and would love to have the experience you’ve had. Looking forward to reading more.:) Thank you for sharing.

  2. Elaine

    Raclette came along with my French husband and we love it every holiday time. We live in so florida and just got our first Traders. First thing I did was call and ask for this very thing. I was told traders has NEVER carried this cheese. Imagine my surprise to see their name on your packages lol. I am going to call them again. What part of the country hare you in?

    • Well, never say never, right?
      We live in Georgia, which isn’t all that far from Florida, so TJ’s might be able to accommodate you with this. I’ve learned that this is a seasonal offering for the chain–I grabbed my first raclette packages in October this year, and now they have packages of (pretty tasty) fondue in the cheese section, too. They usually disappear from the shelves after Christmas.
      So, good luck with that, Elaine, and welcome to my site!

  3. Gina

    what a yummy tradition. i wish costco would sell raclette.

    • Are you sure they don’t? Might be time for you to make a Trader Joe’s run. :-)

  4. Your blog has already introduced me to so many wonderful dishes with exotic background – this dish looks fantastic! I hope to live in Europe one day and can learn from your knowledge for sure :D
    A wonderful blog!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  5. We have raclette in France, it’s wonderful but I’ve never seen it pre-packaged before – how convenient is that!

    • It’s very convenient–especially if you don’t have one of those handy raclette grills!

  6. Diana

    Yum! I’m thinking next time book club is at your house….

    • Well then, I’ll definitely have to amp up that party raclette!

  7. Reminds me of our trip to Germany where we saw these gigantic wheels of cheese (like 4feet in diameter) and they had this heating device that would melt a section and they would take a spatula and scrape off the melted bits and spread it on bread. This was at an outdoor festival. I’ve always wondered what that was called. Thank you for sharing! It was delicious!

    • Hummm–that could very well have been raclette cheese! It’s the same concept, at least. It sounds like a wonderful vacation, by the way. :-)

      • Looks very similar as well. It was a great vacation! Eons ago, before kids, before marriage, even, but still with hubby.

        • Right–in that “other life”! Glad you have fond memories of your travels there.

  8. Love, love, love raclette. I prefer it to fondue. Have many fond memories of my year in France eating raclette into the wee hours

  9. yumm!! looks good!

    http://www.beckspick.com

    • It was good, and super simple, as well! Plus, I used all fresh, organice veggies, etc., so I thought it was a pretty healthy meal, all in all.

  10. TBM

    I’ve never heard of it, but I think you sold me on them! Too bad about the converter situation. We are experiencing the same here in the UK after moving from the States. We replaced a few things, but we might return to the States in a couple of years so we don’t want to buy a lot of appliances.

    • We always bought and sold common appliances among expats. We’re hanging on to that raclette/grill, though–in case we ever return to Europe!

  11. It’s also famous in the Netherlands!! :) Yummy!! Especially in during cold winters ;)

    • Yes, it’s a wonderful dish for fall and winter, but it was a nice change of pace on a chilly spring evening as well. ;-)

  12. What a wonderful idea! I’m sure I’ve seen this cheese but I didn’t know anything about it. I might just buy some next time I see it and do what you did. Men can be jolly handy things to have about the house, what with their knowledge of amperage and other such mysteries.

    • Yes, and he also changes lightbulbs…;-)
      And, as for the cheese, I’m told that a wedge of raclette can be purchased, sliced thin, and melted beneath the broiler in the same way that this pre-sliced raclette was–but I haven’t tried that yet.

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