Friday, May 12, 2006

Raclette Discovery

I do a lot of reading in general and a horrible lot of reading about food. I noticed certain words or descriptors seem to be in vogue. The list in fashion now includes chipotle, ciabatta and panini. Once esoteric they are now mainstream. Jack in the Box and other fast food joints use these words to give their products cache. Sir, may I have chipotle panini on ciabatta?

Some food writers use terms that would do a bodice ripping romance novelist proud. The sun caressed her as she wrapped her lips around the ruby red strawberry. The juices exploded in her mouth as she savored the luscious sweetness. Wow! I don’t know whether to be hungry or hot and bothered.

Even the highbrow writers use fashion words like unctuous, ethereal, and prandial that send me scampering to my dictionary.

Why am I raving on? I never thought that I could us any of these words in context. Well now I can. Ethereal (heavenly) is how I would describe raclette from the Euro Taste tent at the Novato Farmers Market. I was cruising the stalls looking for the best specimens of fruits and vegetables and stumbled across it. Not much to look at. It really could use a little food styling. Just a wedge of cheese held in a contraption that heats the top. I tried to get more information from the vendor but she was busy. Not a talker but she has a quick smile. Her name is Suzie and she is from Austria. The deal is that Suzie peels off the top layer of molten cheese and spreads it on piece of bread. Several topping are offered, I chose mushroom and onion. Heavenly it is!

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Suzie and the cheese

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Hot Stuff

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Ethereal

7 comments:

kudzu said...

Oh, God -- ciabatta, panini. They have been bastardized in American ads: "Chabatta" --- and panini used as a singluar noun, when (natch) it's plural. One eats a panino, or two panini. Almost as bad as "gnocchis", or "bru-shetta" instead of bruskayta. Yeah, I'm a nitpicker, too. And how many, many times must we listen to "chi-polte"?

Foodwriting demands a taxing effort to avoid repetition in describing experiences and tastes. It's no picnic. But I agree about the semi-porn approach and the over-used adjectives ("napped" and "toothsome" come to mind). Ah, for some simple and honest prose now and then.

Stuff You Should Know said...

I can't say I disagree.

Ivonne said...

This is the third or fourth time that I've read about raclette this week ... I must try it. It does sound heavenly!

Mona said...

Welcome to Swiss heaven. My family and I had raclette for the first time in Zermatt, Switz and we've been made about it ever since...
We tried some in the city and it reminded me how much I love the melted cheese and bread and potatoes...
Greg, thanks for your comment on my blog, that really made me want to get off my butt and get bloggin.
I just bought the Food Lover's Companion so I could understand words like ciabatta and panini-ha. Well not those words but you know what I mean...

tejal said...

Hi Rob, I find the language hilarious sometimes too. Especially, even though I adore his books, Charlie Trotter's descriptions. Sensual beds of whimsical fruits and vegetables, a rabbit saddle or whatever that is personified to frightening extent...

Also, I was just feeling nostalgic about raclette a couple days ago. Seeing a whole wheel like that just makes it worse. (Is it raclette?)

lobstersquad said...

I love raclette. I had in in Switzerland the first time, with new potatoes and gherkins, and it was heavenly-ethereal-bodice burstingly good.
Don´t´drink water with it, though.

Moni said...

Yes, this is a nice way to make raclette for stalls or restaurants, but at home you'd want to use a raclette grill. This has the advantage of being on your dining table instead of hidden away in the kitchen and your guests can make their own meals. I love raclette! And I prefer the cheese on potatoes, not on bread, with pickled onions.