ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is raclette? How do you make it and serve it?

Updated on January 29, 2016

What is raclette?

What exactly is raclette? Well, it is the name of a hard yellow Swiss cheese and it is also the name of traditional Swiss dish which is composed mainly of this specific cheese. "Raclette" is a derivative of the french verb "racler" which means "to scrape". And this is indeed what you do when you have a raclette meal. A wheel of of Raclette is secured onto a small stand in the middle of the table or on aside cart, and an arm with a heating element pivots over the cheese. The heat softens and melts the cheese which is scraped onto plates using a special raclette. Raclette is normally served with small boiled potatoes, cornichons (small pickled cucumbers), pickled onions and a selection of cooked/smoked pork meat such as salami, dried sausage, ham etc. It is a delicious winter meal, and very companionable, fun and entertaining.

Photo credit: madhouse family reviews.

traditional raclette grill
traditional raclette grill

How to make Raclette at home

Entertain your friends and family with a Raclette party

Traditional Raclette grills like the one shown in the picture are hard to find, cumbersome and unfortunately seldom used even in Switzerland nowadays, except in some traditional chalet restaurants in the Savoy region. Commercially sold raclette grills are more complex and fanciful, and easier to prepare a complete raclette meal with, in the sense that most of them feature two parts, one consisting of small trays to grill the cheese in, as well as a hot plate where you can cook meat, sausages, vegetables and whatever else you would like to accompany your raclette with. Some even feature a meat fondue pot in the middle, where you can either prepare a fondue Bourguignonne (cubes of meat dipped and cooked in hot oil) or a fondue Chinoise (cubes of meat dipped and cooked in hot broth), or even keep the small boiled potatoes that are traditionally served with Raclette hot, while eating.

Raclette meals are fun and easy to prepare and great for entertaining friends and family. The idea is that everybody sits around the table with the raclette grill in the middle and cooks his/or her own meal, choosing whatever ingredients he/she wishes from the platters set out by the hostess. Raclette meals are easy going and comfortable and induce close contact and conversation among the guests, as they wait for their cheese to melt and their meat or vegetables to cook. Raclette is one of my favorite Swiss recipes. It is ideal for winter weekends, as the raclette maker itself provides an additional source of heat to the room, contributing to a cozy convivial atmosphere.

If you decide to buy a raclette set, it is a good idea to choose a large one, preferably for 8 rather than 6 or 4 people, as well as one strong enough for the hot plate to actually cook the food rather than just keep it warm. I would personally recommend this excellent raclette set found on Amazon.

Photo credit: Amazon

It is one of the most expensive options but great value for money. I have been using it for years, it is large enough for eight people, cooks very fast and is very easy to clean. I also like the variable heat control option, which is missing on many other similar products. It is nice to have because at the beginning of the meal when everybody is hungry you can turn it up, so it cooks faster, then later, when your guests are beginning to fill up and would rather linger around the table talking, you can turn the heat down for slower cooking.

Swissmar KF-77045 Classic 8 Person Raclette with Granite Stone Grill Top, Red
Swissmar KF-77045 Classic 8 Person Raclette with Granite Stone Grill Top, Red

Swissmar is a guarrantee on its own. 8 person raclette set with grill

 
Swissmar Raclette Recipes Cookbook
Swissmar Raclette Recipes Cookbook

A wonderful cooking book full of mouth watering raclette recipes and serving suggestions

 

How do you serve Raclette?

  • Keep things simple. Keep in mind that a raclette meal should be both easy to prepare, fun to eat and easy to clean-up. Do not overdo it with side dishes.
  • Set the table up with all the ingredients pre-cut and sliced in platters. Place the raclette grill in the middle and turn it on to preheat while your guests take their seats at the table.
  • Advice your guests to take a slice of cheese, place it into one of the individial pans and under the grill to melt. In the meantime take a hot potato from the serving dish and cut it into small pieces with your knife. Once the cheese is ready and melted, slide it off the pan, onto the potato. You may grind some black pepper over it and accompany it with grilled vegetables or meat, which you cook on the top grill of the raclette maker.
  • Accompany your raclette meal with chilled dry white whine and top it up with a light fruity slightly acid desert, such as sorbet. Try to avoid rich creamy deserts and chocolate, since the cheese which makes up most of the meal is quite fat and heavy.

Raclette serving ideas

  • The best type of cheese to use for raclette, is obviously....raclette. However, you may serve more than one kind of cheese. Other good options are Gruyere, Vacherin, Fontina, English Cheddar or any other kind of hard yellow cheese that melts well.
  • Small boiled potatoes (with their skin) is a must side dish for traditional raclette. Other vegetables you may serve and which you can grill on the top of the raclette maker, include mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, baby corn etc.
  • You should include a platter with an assortment of pork and beef meat, dried or smoked with your raclette meal. Sausages you can grill on the raclette grill, various types of dried beef slices, salami, peperoni, various types of ham, are all good choices.
  • Don't forget to accompany your raclette meal with a large green salad

© 2012 Aquamarine18

Are you ready for a raclette party?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 

      5 years ago

      Doggone it! I'm hungry now!

    • HappyTom LM profile image

      Tom Christen 

      5 years ago from Switzerland/Ecuador

      Yes so nice! Dish is one of my favorite dish :). In Switzerland we eat it a lot:) Thank you so much for this nice lens...

    • Aquamarine18 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aquamarine18 

      5 years ago

      @poutine: Thank you!

    • profile image

      poutine 

      5 years ago

      Just pinned it for you

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Sure I am , these look like they would cook up some awesome foods for the party!

    • Wish List Gifts profile image

      Wish List Gifts 

      5 years ago

      I asked Santa to bring me one of these. I love grilling anything.

    • profile image

      poutine 

      5 years ago

      My sister has a raclette and loves it. Putting this on my wish list.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Interesting idea! I've never eaten raclette cheese but sounds tasty!

    • profile image

      angelatvs 

      5 years ago

      Sounds fun! This is so interesting.

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 

      5 years ago

      New to me, but it sure sounds scrumptious.

    • John Uwen profile image

      John Uwen 

      5 years ago

      this is very interesting. I love to cook and have never been introduced to raclette. thank you so much for sharing.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      5 years ago from UK

      A raclette is such a fun idea for a party or just as a treat. I ate a raclette meal in Switzerland but like the idea of grilling it at home. These are great tips for serving an authentic raclette. I agree, keep it simple, the way it's meant to be to enjoy it at its best.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)