Gooey Goodness: Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Cheese for Raclette Grill

Gooey Goodness Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Cheese for Raclette Grill

Introduction

Is Your Raclette Party Feeling a Little Flat? Let’s Melt Away the Mundane!

Imagine this: you’re surrounded by friends, laughter fills the air, and in the centre of it all is the star attraction – your raclette grill. But wait, is something missing? Could it be the cheese?

Brief Introduction to Raclette Let’s set the scene: Raclette, a Swiss culinary gem, isn’t just a cheese; it’s a social experience. Originating in the Alps, raclette refers both to the semi-hard, savoury cheese and the communal meal featuring this melty delight. Traditionally, the cheese is heated and scraped onto plates, often accompanied by potatoes, pickles, and cold cuts. The magic of raclette lies in its ability to bring people together; all centred around the gooey, flavourful cheese that transforms a simple meal into a feast.

Purpose of the Article But here’s the rub: not all cheeses are created equal, especially when it comes to raclette. This guide is your culinary compass to navigate the world of cheese for raclette. Whether you’re a raclette rookie or a melting maestro, you’ll find the insights needed to pick the perfect cheese that turns your next raclette party from just fine to sublime!

Table of Cheese Contents

  • £25.95 (£25.95 / kg)
  • Description:

    Exceptional meltability, velvety texture, rich, nutty aroma, and a creamy, nutty flavour with earthy undertones. Its strong aroma and taste might be too intense for some.

  • £36.70 (£25.31 / kg)
  • Description:

    Smooth melt, rich, milky, buttery flavour, strong aroma. A close substitute to Raclette with a similar nutty flavour. Young Gruyère is preferred for mildness and meltability.

  • £43.90
  • Description:

    Creamy when melted, pleasant aroma, mild and slightly sweet flavour. It’s not as melty as Raclette but suitable for those preferring milder flavours.

  • £9.87 (£28.28 / kg)
  • Description:

    Silky smooth melt, rich and earthy aroma, buttery flavour with floral notes. It is an Italian cheese with a buttery aroma, and sweet, nutty flavour but a harder texture. It can become runny and greasy.

  • £40.40 (£25.25 / kg)
  • Description:

    Even melting, beguiling aroma, nutty, fruity, sweet, and salty flavour profile. Suitable for an indulgent and nuanced taste.

  • £43.90
  • Description:

    Excellent meltability, mild flavour with nutty, fruity, buttery notes, and rich aroma. Some might find its smell funky.

  • N/A
  • Description:

    Creamy melt, inviting scent, nutty, savoury, slightly spicy flavour. Its aroma may be too pronounced for some.

  • £37.65 (£41.83 / kg)
  • Description:

    Rich and smooth melt, slightly spicy aroma, hearty, full-bodied, fruity flavour. Bold scent and flavour can be overpowering.

  • £19.95 (£19.95 / count)
  • Description:

    Creamy melt, mild and neutral flavour with slight sweetness, subtle aroma. Ideal for those seeking a less pronounced cheese flavour.

  • £12.00 (£48.00 / kg)
  • Description:

    Creamy when melted, potent aroma, rich, buttery, creamy flavour with earthy, nutty notes. Meltability may not be as impressive as Raclette.

  • N/A
  • Description:

    Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, subtle nutty flavour, melts well, and is ideal for fondues and grilled sandwiches.

  • N/A
  • Description:

    Known for its creamy texture, smooth and melting, strong character after maturing for at least 80 days.

  • £62.95 (£62.95 / kg)
  • Description:

    (Sheep’s or Goat’s Cheese): Soft and melting, a good alternative for those who avoid cow’s milk.

  • £14.99 (£18.74 / kg)
  • Description:

    Originally from sheep’s milk, white, crumbly, aromatic to sharp flavour.

  • £18.45 (£18.45 / kg)
  • Description:

    Firm cow’s milk cheese, creamy, sometimes crumbly, with acidic and nutty flavours.

  • £34.50 (£26.54 / kg)
  • Description:

    Soft cow’s milk cheese, creamy with blue-green veins, ranges from aromatic to sharp and rich in flavour.

  • €10.19 (€20.37 / kg)
  • Description:

    Semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, sliceable, creamy, mild, and slightly tart aroma.

£25.95 (£25.95 / kg)
Description:

Exceptional meltability, velvety texture, rich, nutty aroma, and a creamy, nutty flavour with earthy undertones. Its strong aroma and taste might be too intense for some.

£36.70 (£25.31 / kg)
Description:

Smooth melt, rich, milky, buttery flavour, strong aroma. A close substitute to Raclette with a similar nutty flavour. Young Gruyère is preferred for mildness and meltability.

£43.90
Description:

Creamy when melted, pleasant aroma, mild and slightly sweet flavour. It’s not as melty as Raclette but suitable for those preferring milder flavours.

£9.87 (£28.28 / kg)
Description:

Silky smooth melt, rich and earthy aroma, buttery flavour with floral notes. It is an Italian cheese with a buttery aroma, and sweet, nutty flavour but a harder texture. It can become runny and greasy.

£40.40 (£25.25 / kg)
Description:

Even melting, beguiling aroma, nutty, fruity, sweet, and salty flavour profile. Suitable for an indulgent and nuanced taste.

£43.90
Description:

Excellent meltability, mild flavour with nutty, fruity, buttery notes, and rich aroma. Some might find its smell funky.

N/A
Description:

Creamy melt, inviting scent, nutty, savoury, slightly spicy flavour. Its aroma may be too pronounced for some.

£37.65 (£41.83 / kg)
Description:

Rich and smooth melt, slightly spicy aroma, hearty, full-bodied, fruity flavour. Bold scent and flavour can be overpowering.

£19.95 (£19.95 / count)
Description:

Creamy melt, mild and neutral flavour with slight sweetness, subtle aroma. Ideal for those seeking a less pronounced cheese flavour.

£12.00 (£48.00 / kg)
Description:

Creamy when melted, potent aroma, rich, buttery, creamy flavour with earthy, nutty notes. Meltability may not be as impressive as Raclette.

N/A
Description:

Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, subtle nutty flavour, melts well, and is ideal for fondues and grilled sandwiches.

N/A
Description:

Known for its creamy texture, smooth and melting, strong character after maturing for at least 80 days.

£19.20
Description:

Powerful Swiss cheese, full-bodied, salty, and slightly animal-like flavour profile.

£62.95 (£62.95 / kg)
Description:

(Sheep’s or Goat’s Cheese): Soft and melting, a good alternative for those who avoid cow’s milk.

£7.84 (£20.99 / kg)
Description:

Exclusive English cheese made from 100% Jersey cow’s milk, floral and fruity aromatic richness.

£14.99 (£18.74 / kg)
Description:

Originally from sheep’s milk, white, crumbly, aromatic to sharp flavour.

£18.45 (£18.45 / kg)
Description:

Firm cow’s milk cheese, creamy, sometimes crumbly, with acidic and nutty flavours.

£29.20 (£29.20 / kg)
Description:

Hard cow’s milk cheese, aromatic, and tangy, fine-grained even after broiling.

£34.50 (£26.54 / kg)
Description:

Soft cow’s milk cheese, creamy with blue-green veins, ranges from aromatic to sharp and rich in flavour.

€10.19 (€20.37 / kg)
Description:

Semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, sliceable, creamy, mild, and slightly tart aroma.

02/12/2024 01:51 am GMT Lasso Brag Amazon Disclosure: We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Star of the Show – Raclette Cheese

Understanding Raclette: The Cheese that Named the Party

When we talk about raclette, we’re not just discussing any cheese – it’s the celebrity of the cheese world! Hailing from the heart of the Swiss Alps, Raclette Cheese is known for its exceptional meltability. This is a cheese that doesn’t just melt; it transforms into a velvety, creamy blanket, perfect for draping over potatoes, vegetables, or bread.

The flavour of Raclette Cheese is deeply satisfying – it combines a rich nuttiness with a creamy, slightly earthy tone that makes each bite an indulgence. But it’s not just about taste; the aroma of Raclette Cheese is an integral part of the experience. It fills the room with a comforting, warm scent that promises a hearty and delicious meal. The rich and slightly pungent aroma is as complex as its flavour, setting the stage for a truly immersive dining experience.

Considerations

However, like all good things, Raclette Cheese can be quite potent, and its robust flavour isn’t for everyone. Raclette can be somewhat overwhelming for guests who prefer a milder taste or those not accustomed to strong-smelling cheeses. Its pungent aroma, a delight for many, can be a bit too intense for some palates and noses. So, while Raclette is the star of the show, it’s important to consider the preferences of your audience. After all, a raclette party is all about shared joy and tastes, and there’s plenty of room to mix and match with milder alternatives.

The Best Supporting Cast – Alternative Cheeses

Gruyère Cheese

The Close Cousin: Gruyère’s Creamy Charm. If Raclette Cheese is the life of the party, Gruyère is its charming cousin, bringing a similarly delightful presence to your raclette grill. Gruyère’s smooth melt is a spectacle in itself – it drapes over food with an elegant creaminess that is hard to resist.

This flavour powerhouse cheese offers a rich, slightly salty taste with subtle hints of nuttiness. This balance of flavours makes Gruyère a versatile choice for a raclette meal. But here’s a tip: if you’re catering to a crowd that prefers a gentler taste, opt for young Gruyère. It’s milder yet still holds its own, providing a delightful creaminess without overpowering the other flavours on your plate.

Emmental Cheese

Mild and Creamy: Emmental’s Subtle Sweetness. Emmental, often known as Swiss cheese, is the diplomat of the cheese world, known for its ability to get along with a wide range of flavours. It’s the go-to cheese for those who favour a milder, more understated cheese experience.

Emmental melts into a dreamy, creamy texture, making it a joy to pair with both delicate and robust accompaniments. Its flavour is gently sweet and nutty, never stealing the spotlight but always enhancing the overall taste. Emmental is particularly suited for those who are new to the world of raclette or prefer their cheese experience to be less intense but still delightful.

Fontina Cheese

Italian Indulgence: The Allure of Fontina Stepping into the raclette scene with an Italian flair, Fontina Cheese is all about indulgence. This cheese is a sensory delight, greeting you first with its rich, earthy aroma that hints at the depth of flavour it brings.

When melted, Fontina turns into a silky, luxurious treat, with a buttery and slightly floral flavour that is both sophisticated and comforting. It’s a cheese that demands attention, not just for its taste but also for its texture. Fontina can vary from semi-soft to firm, so choosing one that melts well is essential to avoid any textural mishaps on the grill. Fontina is perfect for those looking to add an Italian touch to their raclette experience, offering a blend of richness and elegance.

Exploring Diverse Cheese Options

Taleggio and Appenzeller

Bold Choices: Taleggio’s Funk and Appenzeller’s Spice Let’s jazz up your raclette grill with some Taleggio and Appenzeller – the cheese world’s funk and spice duo! Taleggio, with its creamy texture, transforms into a silky delight under heat, infusing dishes with its unique nutty and fruity essence.

Beware, though, its aroma can be a tad funky – in a good way, if you’re into that! On the other hand, Appenzeller struts in with a creamy texture and a scent that’s invitingly nutty with a hint of spice. It’s like a warm, savoury hug for your taste buds. While Taleggio is the laid-back artist of the cheese world, Appenzeller is the lively adventurer, bringing a zest that can elevate even the simplest of dishes.

Tête de Moine and Monterey Jack

From Bold to Subtle: Tête de Moine’s Richness and Monterey Jack’s Neutrality Now, let’s talk contrasts. Tête de Moine is like the bold, opulent aristocrat of cheese – rich, full-bodied with a slightly spicy aroma that demands attention. It’s perfect for those who love a bit of drama on their plate.

On the flip side, Monterey Jack is the cheese world’s diplomat – mild, unassuming, with a touch of sweetness. It’s the cheese you want when you’re looking for harmony and balance, playing well with both sweet and savoury accompaniments. Whether you’re in the mood for the bold theatrics of Tête de Moine or the calming neutrality of Monterey Jack, these cheeses have got you covered.

Camembert and Jarlsberg

Creamy Dreams: Camembert’s Richness and Jarlsberg’s Nuttiness Let’s not forget the dreamy duo of Camembert and Jarlsberg. The French maestro, Camembert, oozes sophistication with its creamy, buttery richness and earthy undertones. It’s like a symphony of flavours in your mouth, perfect for those who love a bit of elegance in their meal.

The Norwegian charmer Jarlsberg brings a subtle nutty twist to the table. It melts beautifully, complementing ingredients without overpowering them, perfect for those who appreciate subtlety in their raclette adventure. Together, they bring a creamy dreaminess to your raclette, each in their own distinctive way.

The Underdogs – Lesser-Known Yet Delightful Choices

Hidden Gems: Discovering Raclette’s Unsung Heroes

So, you think you know all about cheese for raclette? Let’s dig a little deeper and unearth some hidden treasures. First up is Morbier – a real dark horse with its iconic ash layer. Don’t let its striking appearance fool you; it’s creamy with a slightly bold character, perfect for those who want a touch of drama on their plate.

  • There’s Vacherin from Fribourg, which is not your average cheese. It packs a punch with a full-bodied, salty flavour that’s a bit on the wild side – think of it as the raclette cheese that went on an adventure and came back with stories to tell.
  • For the ‘not-so-into-cow’s-milk’ crowd, Ossau-Iraty Bearnais is your buddy. This sheep’s milk cheese is soft, melting, and kindly reminds you that there’s more to cheese than just cows.
  • Ogleshield, anyone? This English cheese, made from Jersey cow’s milk, is like the sophisticated cousin who studied abroad. It brings a floral and fruity richness to the table – a bit exclusive, but oh so worth it.
  • Feta, the crumbly Greek hero, might not be your first thought for raclette, but its sharp and aromatic flavour can really shake things up. It’s like adding a bit of Mediterranean sunshine to your meal.
  • Cheddar, the people’s choice, is versatile and friendly. It’s creamy, sometimes crumbly, and has those familiar acidic and nutty notes that everyone loves.
  • Parmesan and Pecorino, the hard cheese duo, aren’t just for sprinkling on pasta. When broiled, they bring an aromatic and tangy edge to your raclette adventure.
  • Gorgonzola – creamy, with blue-green veins – is for those who like to walk on the wild side of flavour with its rich and sharp taste.
  • Last but not least, Butterkaese, the mild-mannered cheese, is semi-soft, sliceable, and has a creamy, slightly tart aroma. It’s the quiet guest who ends up being the life of the party.

While less famous in the raclette world, each of these cheeses offers a unique twist to your melting experience. They prove that stepping off the beaten path sometimes leads to the most delightful discoveries. So, why not invite these unsung heroes to your next raclette party and watch them shine?

Pairing Cheeses with Accoutrements

Beyond the Cheese: Crafting the Perfect Raclette Pairings

Alright, you’ve got your cheese lineup ready – but what about the supporting cast? Pairing the right cheese with the perfect sidekick can turn your raclette from good to “Can I have some more, please?” Let’s navigate this flavorful journey together.

For the creamy, nutty flavours of Raclette and Gruyère, think traditional: thinly sliced cured meats like prosciutto or salami. They complement the rich cheese without overpowering it. Add some pickled onions or gherkins for a tangy twist.

Emmental’s mild and sweet nature pairs splendidly with ham and boiled potatoes. It’s like they were made for each other – a classic combo that never disappoints. Throw in some cherry tomatoes for a pop of colour and acidity.

Fontina, with its earthy notes, loves the company of mushrooms. Imagine melted Fontina over grilled portobellos – it’s a forest feast on your plate! For a brighter note, pair it with zucchini or bell peppers.

Now, let’s talk about Taleggio and Appenzeller. These bold flavours need something robust, like roasted beef or spiced sausages. Add a side of caramelized onions to enhance the richness.

Tête de Moine and Monterey Jack are quite the pair. The former, with its full-bodied taste, goes well with smoked meats and pear slices, while the latter’s neutrality is a blank canvas for both sweet (like grilled pineapple) and savoury (like turkey breast) sides.

Camembert and Jarlsberg? Think outside the box. Camembert sings when paired with something sweet like figs or apple slices. Jarlsberg, with its nutty flavour, can stand up to the boldness of pickled jalapeños or spicy chorizo.

As for those underdogs like Feta and Gorgonzola, bring in some olives and sundried tomatoes to complement Feta’s sharpness. For Gorgonzola, honey drizzle and walnut pieces can balance its intense flavour.

Don’t forget the bread! A good crusty baguette or some artisanal bread slices are non-negotiable for scooping up all that melted goodness.

The key is balance – pairing your cheeses with accompaniments that complement without competing. Think of it as creating a harmony of flavours where each note, from cheese to condiment, gets a chance to shine. So, go ahead, experiment, and find your perfect raclette pairings!

Conclusion

As we wrap up our cheesy journey, let’s do a quick recap. Remember, Raclette Cheese is your go-to for that classic melt, but don’t shy away from its cousins like Gruyère for a creamy, nutty experience or Emmental for a sweeter touch. Fontina and Taleggio bring in the Italian and funky flavours, respectively, while Appenzeller adds a hint of spice. For those who prefer milder tastes, Monterey Jack is your friend. And let’s not forget the unsung heroes like Morbier and Ogleshield, offering unique tastes and textures to explore.

Now, it’s decision time: “Which Cheese Will Be the Star of Your Next Raclette Night?” Will you stick to the traditional path with Raclette Cheese, or are you feeling adventurous enough to try a combination of Taleggio and Feta? Maybe you’ll surprise your guests with the earthy charm of Fontina or the bold statement of Tête de Moine.

The beauty of a raclette party lies in its versatility and the joy of experimentation. Mix and match these cheeses with your favourite meats, veggies, wines, and condiments. There’s no right or wrong here – only delicious discoveries to be made. So get that raclette grill sizzling and embark on a culinary adventure. And hey, why not share your raclette revelations with fellow cheese enthusiasts? Your unique pairings might just inspire someone else’s next raclette soirée. Let the melting begin!

Next on your reading list: The Definitive Guide: How to Successfully Freeze Raclette Cheese

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