Raclette comes from the French word: "Racler", which means to scrape; and traditionally Raclette is melted over a fire and the soft cheese scraped onto a plate.
This cheese is sourced from Savoy, France and it is pretty hard to source. It is a Livradoux (Livradois) made with cow's milk cheese with a thin, brownish-orange colored rind, a yellow-ivory semi-firm creamy texture and a nutty, aromatic taste with a milky, fruity aroma and a sweet taste. It's made with thermalized cows milk, which means it's not heated up as much as pasteurized.
It is usually sold as a full wheel which weights 8-9 lbs, for most of you at home this would be quite an investment for a lot more cheese than you need. We decided to cut it, pack it in two different presentations:
Wedge (1lb): great for Raclette traditional serving.
Half Wedge (8oz): great portion for a cheese board.
Half Wheel (4-5 Lbs): well... great for roasting in front of someone you want to impress...
(If interested in a whole wheel... just contact us, or buy 2 half wheels)
Since the 13th century, "Melted cheese" was consumed by peasants in the alpine mountains of Switzerland, Italy and France and it was known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland as Bratchäs or "Roasted Cheese".
Cow herders would carry cheese with them when moving cows to the mountains to pasture and in the evenings, cheese would be placed next to a campfire for softening and then scraped with bread.
In Switzerland this cheese is served with potatoes, cornichons, pickled onions, black tea and Fendant wine; while in France, the tend to serve with white wine with Savoy, Riesling or Pinot Noir.