Raclette Cheese PGI
The practice of roasting cheese goes back to the Middle Ages in the region, however the name raclette came much later. The unmistakable melting quality of Raclette de Savoie PGI comes from the rich, aromatic milk of its terroir
What you need to know
Raclette de Savoie cheese PGI has an uncooked, pressed paste and is made with raw or thermized cow's milk. It is produced in the form of wheels weighing 13 lbs, 30 cm in diameter and 7 cm high. The PGI label, which it received in 2017, guarantees that the cows are fed a natural, diversified, local and GM-free (<0.9%) diet. The rich, aromatic milk of Taurine, Montbéliarde and Abondance breeds of cows, fed on local fodder and the fresh grass of the prairies and pastures in season, imparts all its typicality to the cheese. The wheels are cellar-ripened for at least 8 weeks on wooden boards before they are sold.
This hard, compact variety is particularly loved for its soft middle that melts when heated. There is a farmhouse version (made and ripened on the farm that produced the milk) and an industrial version (made with milk from several farms in the region of production). The casein label fixed to the wheels stating that they come from Savoie ensures traceability. The label is green for the farmhouse variety and red for the industrial cheese. Raclette de Savoie cheese PGI is always left plain and natural: you won't find it smoked or with mustard or white wine added.
Raclette de Savoie PGI is rich in calcium and has a lower sodium content than other raclette cheeses.
How to use
If you are serving it as part of a cheese board, it is best to take it out of the refrigerator an hour beforehand to allow it to release all its aromas. How you prepare a raclette depends on how you intend to serve it. For small individual trays, thin slices of raclette are used. For a traditional raclette grill, a quarter or half a wheel of cheese is heated in a diagonal position and the melted surface scraped off with a wooden utensil as it melts.
Savory: Cured ham, Rosette de Lyon sausage, pickles, endive, walnuts, hazelnuts
To drink: whites: Vin de Savoie Abymes PDO, Vin de Savoie Mondeuse PDO, Vin de Savoie Chignin-Bergeron PDO, Crozes-Hermitage PDO, Saint Joseph PDO.
Reds: Vin de Savoie Mondeuse PDO, Saint-Amour PDO, Brouilly PDO, Bourgueil PDO, Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil PDO.