The Niagara Icewine Gala was a wonderful culinary event full of various wines, hor d’oeuvres and finger foods. If there’s one thing that they had a lot of (and I’m by no means complaining), it was cheese!
Although you could find cheese in a bunch of fancy little bits and bites along the way, this particular cheese table had something called raclette cheese.
Raclette cheese originates from Switzerland. It’s a type of cheese that is great for suspending on a raclette grill (like the one shown above), which is essentially a fancy broiler that holds the savoury cheese and gradually melts it along the way. Once it starts melting, the cheese starts to brown and bubble, which is fascinating to watch. And melted cheese? Yes, please!
After the cheese caramelizes, it can be scraped off (known as “racler”) to put onto bread, crackers, salads…pretty much anything that goes well with cheese. This process creates those long, stringy pieces of cheese that is satisfying to see as you scrape it from the block. Raclette cheese isn’t the only type that can be used on a raclette grill, but from what I can gather, melting any cheese like this paves way for a gooey, softened cheese. Even though I’ve held fondue parties before, apparently there are raclette parties too. It’s a bit shi shi foo foo, but perhaps something I should look into doing one day. 🙂