A few days ago we made Raclette. Raclette is a type of cheese and a Swiss and French dish, based on heating the cheese and scraping off the melted part. The term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape” because of the way the melted cheese is scraped off the block. Traditionally, the Swiss cow herders used to take the cheese with them when they were moving cows to or from the pastures up in the mountains. In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, when it had reached the perfect softness, scrape it on top of some bread.
A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, to heat slices of raclette cheese in. When the cheese is bubbling convincingly and going brown around the edges, remove the tray from under the grill, scrape the contents with a small wooden spatula on top of the potato which you have placed on your plate, sprinkle with pepper, paprika, nutmeg and eat. As it can take five minutes or so for each slice of cheese to cook, particularly before the grill has warmed up properly, it’s a good idea to put a new slice of cheese in as soon as you’ve scraped the last one onto your potato. That way you can keep them coming. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions and dried meat. source
To learn about Grittibänz and see pictures of our raclette dinner, read on!
Cheese, bacon, gherkins and pickled onions
We like our raclette with some bacon but you could also put small sausages on top of the grill.
“En Guete!” means “Enjoy your meal!” in Swiss German.
The other tradition I wanted to tell you about are the Grittibänz. Grittibänz are made of sweet leavened dough and are a typical Advent pastry. Even if under completely different names, this pastry is known throughout all the German speaking countries. Grittibänz however is the Swiss term for it. “Gritti” refers to the figure’s legs being apart and Bänz is the short form for Benedikt but can also mean “man”. There is some dispute about how far he dates back, but he has definitely been known since the 16th century. Children often receive these doughy men together with peanuts, mandarins and chocolate on the 6th of December for the St. Nicholas day. Even at school they hand out these yummy little breads!
It’s the first time I did Grittibänz all by myself and as you can see they turned out huge and almost monstrous.. but- sooooo delicious!! The bread was so soft and buttery inside!
These are not very traditionally shaped Grittibänz but it was fun making them! If you’re interested there are videos on youtube and very simple recipes on the internet. I used this recipe and this video on youtube. Both recipes are in German (I think.. my laptop has no audio so I can’t check it right now..) but you can easily find recipes in English too!
hahaha there is only enough place for three of them in the oven! Next time I’m going to make them much smaller..
And last but not least, I won a part of Wok Blog’s giveaway! 謝謝, 你真細心。Rong!
Wok Blog is one of the first blogs I started reading and I immediately fell in love with her writing style and her pictures. She’s a very funny and itelligent Chinese born, living In Germany since 2000. I love her native recipes and of all the cooking blogs out there I like hers the best! I’ve already tried several of her recipes and was always so pleased =). Here is what I won:
I was so happy when I saw this pretty envelope in my mailbox!
I’m so very fond of these cards! They’re so special and different from any other card I’ve seen! The colors are so vibrant and the scenes so lively!
I wish you all a beautiful and dreamy holiday!
This is one of the pictures I took a few days ago in the forest but now all the snow is gone…