This is the last part of my interview series with Pascal Burkard, CEO of the Swiss raclette manufacturer TTM:
7. When was the first time you had raclette and what is your favorite raclette dish? What is your favorite raclette cheese?
I had raclette so early that I can't remember it. You have to know that we often enjoy raclette. It is a typical dish, which is enjoyed at many family celebrations and parties, by the way very often in the summer, outdoors. The children grow up with raclette. I guess that's why I ate raclette before I had my first teeth.
My favorite version is the original version. Small raclettes that stay warm on the plate, together with boiled potatoes and perhaps some mixed pickles. No spice. If I have raclette very often, I eat the small raclettes without side dishes, I only taste the cheese.
As far as cheeses are concerned, I have a preference for raw milk raclette from alpine farms. I like slightly more intense flavors, often of cheese that has been matured for more than three months. By the way, I recently enjoyed a raclette made from sheep's milk. Rarely had something so delicious.
8. Tell me something that I can’t possibly know about raclette!
That's gonna be a little difficult in your case. But did you know, for example, that there are raclette festivals here in Valais? These are occasions where many raclette cheese producers present themselves and offer their cheese. Visitors can buy tickets at the entrance to go from one stand to another to taste the various raclettes. A fine thing, worth it.
Note that they are using the TTM Brio Gas raclette melter!
9. Do you have a secret raclette recipe you can share with me?
Okay, do you know the ultimate raclette version? Sorry, this is not something for the young people: let the cheese melt under the heater, turn it briefly towards you, still horizontally, "dig" with a knife, spoon or whatever you have a small groove in the middle of the cut surface, so in the melted cheese, and pour in a little schnapps. Light it now, flambée the cheese and then scrape it off. La Raclette flambée! Try it!
Thanks Pascal, for the interesting conversation. Together we will educate the USA and bring the melty, gooey, deliciousness called raclette to even more people.