Raclette au lait Cru

January 27, 2024 2 min read

Raclette au lait Cru

Anyone who’s spent any time in the Alps will probably have witnessed the sight of a half-wheel of cheese clamped under a heating filament, its bubbling surface then scraped onto a waiting plate of potatoes, charcuterie and pickles. A raclette is one of the great joys of the winter season.

Racler means ‘to scrape’ in French, so the cheeses used for the dish are very much developed for that very purpose. Our Raclette au lait Cru is made by Claude Mercier, maker of our magnificent Beaufort in Val d’Isere. Claude’s dairy is a model of sustainability – recycling his cow’s waste to harvest the methane powers his entire dairy and he even returns energy to the grid. He farms two herds, one of Abondance and Tarine cows, whose milk goes to make his Beaufort, and another herd, kept at lower altitude, whose milk makes his Raclettes and Tommes.

Like most cheeses in the region, Raclette’s fat doesn’t separate from the protein as it heats, making it ideal for melting. Under the filament, it’s heated until the surface is bubbling and starting to brown. It’s then tilted and, using a broad knife, scraped straight down onto its target plate. Usual accompaniments are potatoes (always), pickles (essential) and charcuterie – often saucisson or ham. It has a rich, mouth-filling texture which envelops other foods very effectively, while it retains an enjoyable lactic acidity that stops it cloying and keeps you going back for a third and fourth scrape.

If this has got you in the mood for a melting bonanza, we recommend a minimum of 200g of cheese per person. Depending on the machine you have, our mongers can pre-slice your Raclette. If you are concerned a lack of equipment may hold you back, worry not, a substantial meal can still be had by melting your cheese in a sturdy pan.

Don't be afraid to play around with different milks and styles of cheese, our staff have enjoyed Morbier, Persille du Beaujolais and even Barriquet as some lesser seen alternatives to melt in their raclette trays.