The term raclette can refer to 3 things.
These come in various shapes, sizes and styles. The simplest being a holder where you place the cheese and once melted it is simply scraped off by the diners as often as they like. Modern versions like the Princess classic stone & raclette set have small individual wedge shaped pans where you place the cheese before popping under the grill to melt. The stone can then be used to cook meat, fish and vegetables.
This cheese originates from Switzerland . Made from unpasturised cows milk and pale yellow in colour, has a mild nutty flavour which when melted, transforms into the most delectable, salty, buttery tasting treat. It is said that Swiss cow herders would take it with them when they were moving the cattle up the mountains. In the evenings they would place the cheese on a rock by the campfire and once melted it would be scraped onto bread to be enjoyed as their evening meal. Incidentally, the word raclette is derived from the French verb racler meaning scrape…… scraping off the cheese from the grill onto foods of your choice. For some reason it isn’t that easy to get hold of in the UK unless you are shopping for it around Christmas time. All is not lost though as there are a few alternatives out there which share the same melting properties and work just as well if not better. I have found Gruyère and Jarlsberg to be good substitutes.
A traditional raclette meal would consist of boiled potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, cold meats such as proscuitto, ham, salami etc.. plus raclette cheese. The cheese would be melted and scraped onto the potatoes. This is very popular in Switzerland, France, Germany, Australia and even America as a fun way to relax with friends. Meals like this have been known to go on for several hours as the emphasis isn’t just on the food but enjoying each others company too.
We received this Princess 162551 classic stone and raclette set as a gift for our wedding anniversary last year and I have to say it has proved to be a most stress free and fun way to entertain.
It is ideal for dinner parties or other occasions where you just want to relax and chat with friends whilst enjoying good food.
The grill is placed in the centre of the table and everyone cooks their own food when and how they like it. I have lost count of the number of times in the past when we have had friends round for a meal only to find myself stuck in the kitchen cooking between 4 and 6 steaks from rare to well done then trying to ensure they all arrive at the table at the same time. Cooking with this alleviates all that and also allows you to spend more time round the table with your guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen missing out on all the fun.
What’s in the box
First of all there is the BASE UNIT This is as light as a feather and contains the heating element. The power cord only measures 28 inches which is ridiculously short considering the idea is to place the machine in the centre of the table so everyone has easy access.