Thursday, January 11, 2007

The delights of le fromage français

Having just been satisfied (yet again) by a delicious (and completely free lunch) à la Grenobloise I feel led to inform you readers of some of the delights that are the cheesy specialities of Alpine France cuisine...

La Tartiflette

Common eaten at winter time

Made with sliced potato, lardons (bits of bacon) and lots and lots of melted reblochon cheese and who knows what else...

Number of times consumed by Dish = 3
(Today at school in the staff room where they had a new years fête, twice au marché de nöel with orchestra peeps)

Verdict = Simple and delicious but over a little too quickly

Raclette (already been blogged about)

Also a common winter dish in the region

Raclette set is used such as shown here ----------->

Special raclette cheese is not put on top of the grill as shown in the picture but usually comes in slices and is placed in the little trays shown and slotted under the grill. People are served potatoes (which are sometimes left on the grill to keep warm) and charcuterie (lots of nice hams) and sometimes grill meat on top of the grill and when their cheese on their little tray starts to bubble it gets poured wherever and whenever they want!

Number of times consumed by Dish = 3

At people's houses, 2 families from church and one teacher's family.

Verdict = not only scrumptious but a sociable dish too!

Fondue (of the cheese variety)

Common winter dish and now fairly commonly known in uk too

A blend of different varieties of cheese are usually packaged as "fondue" cheese because it's ideal for the job or something... quite often they use a combination of cheeses such as emmental and comté (which on their own are very yummy too) This is all melted in a special fondue pot, and each person is given a skewer. Usually bread, chopped into cubes, is skewered and dipped into the pot but other things such as vegetables and potatoes can be dipped in too. This is also usually served with a plate of charcuterie

Number of times consumed by Dish = 2

A restaurant and a birthday party

Verdict = Delicious when you're hungry though can get a bit sickly after a while. Very sociable though and super bien for parties!

Apologies to anyone who may be disinclined towards fromage


nealb said...

raclette is a bit like a food version of a ceilidh..

soooooo good!

Styx said...

Tartiflette seems to be a bit like a gratin, yes? Reblochon is great, I had some a week ago and it was superb!

He he, the raclette picture is rather misleading to those unfamiliar with it, glad you pointed out that the cheese doesn't get put on top. There is a site with great pictures and explanation about raclette - from Australia of all places! I thought it'll be to hot there...

I actually often use a bit of raclette cheese in my fondues, gives it that extra kick.

So, tartiflette, fondue or raclette, which one is your favourite? I go with raclette for any party - or by myself :-)

Dish said...

raclette all the way... I don't think I would eat it myself though! :P You sound like a very experienced fromage consumer Styx?

Styx said...

Dish, you flatter me! I'm a bit embarrassed now...

I do love cheese and I know that "Swiss" cheese doesn't really exist, people usually mean Emmental by that term. But I wouldn't call myself a cheese expert though. Perhaps once I made my own cheese....

Amandine said...