French Stories 1: La Raclette de Savoie
It was my second New Year's Eve in Europe but I wasn't partaking 12 grapes at each chime towards midnight on new year's day in good old spanish fashion like I did the year before in Barcelona. As I was in Paris this year, the new year's eve feast was celebrated with good company and a traditional French festive meal, La Raclette de Savoie.
Our magnanimous hosts Marie and Siva (and baby Shanti) woke up early in the morning on new year's eve to go marketing for authentic Savoie cheeses from the Alps region. The Raclette de Savoie cheese, with a seductive yellow color and a pale rind, is made with raw cow's milk (au lait cru) in the French Alpine mountains.
As you can see from the picture, you place the sliced cheeses onto the tiny pans that comes with the special heating apparartus i.e. the raclette grill. Once melted, it becomes a creamy bubbly delight that you carefully pour (and scrape) onto small roasted potatoes and jambon (ham). For this special dinner, Marie and Siva served it with an assortment of different jambons, and a simple leafy salad with a dressing made with mustard. The raclette cheeses we had also come in different varieties e.g. peppered, herbed, or smoked.
If you are in France between the months of November and January, try this dish, as it is the best time to taste La Raclette de Savoie, after an aging process of between four to five months. The meal is traditionally accompanied by a Savoie wine like Riesling or Pinot Gris.