Posted by: spottedpufferfish | October 1, 2010

More decadent eating- Queenstown eating part 3

Drum roll please…. This post features the stupendous French dining tradition known as raclette. According to Wikipedia (oh dear, I sound like one of my essays- noooo, please stop) Actually no, I would NEVER use Wiki in one of my uni assignments. This, I drum into my undergrad students regularly during Information Literacy sessions at the library. We all love Professor Google and Doctor Wiki, but Doctor Wiki is only good for background reading, you can’t site a wiki article in your paper, but you CAN use it to find other references (check the author and source first!) Blah, blah, blah. Man, what is WRONG with me? I must be really suffering from work-withdrawal…

Anyway, I digress from the original digression. According to Wikipedia, raclette is both a type of cheese and the name of a dish (Wikipedia, 2010) (I guess I should at least cite the reference correctly, right? But I’m not giving you the bibliography reference, because that would be just taking this TOO far)

We went back to Les Alpes (for those counting, yes, this is the THIRD time we went to Les Alpes in Queenstown over a two week period!), and especially pre-ordered the raclette.

Basically, as I said earlier, it’s a type of cheese, and also a way of eating it. There is a special grill that comes out with it, and everybody gets a triangular metal pan and a paddlepop stick.
Les Alpes- raclette

Les Alpes- raclette

You place a slice or two of the cheese in your pan, and place it under the grill, to warm it up, so it goes all soft and gooey. (Note to self- place cheese under the grill, not on top, as we did, and were politely shown the error in our ways by our French waitress- eet eez betterrr to put eet under ze grill…)
Les Alpes- raclette

Once the raclette goes all soft and gooey, you then use the paddlepop stick to drizzle the melted cheese atop a gorgeous selction of cold cut meats (we had salami, prosciutto and ham-off-the-bone) or chat potatoes. Oh. my. goodness. It was SO DIVINE!!!! And can I just say that the potatoes with the cheese were AMAZING??? (reminds me of the chat potatoes and cheese we used to order from the school canteen, but a million-fold better!)

Les Alpes- raclette

Les Alpes- raclette

Stupidly, we ordered raclette for four people (There were four people at the table.) It was this much cheese and meat times two!
Les Alpes- raclette

Note veritable mountain of cheese. ‘We couldn’t finish it’ is probably the understatement of the century. After we’d stuffed ourselves stupid, we asked our waitress how much French people usually ate (we were trying to ascertain if the amount we ordered was in fact a reasonable amount for the number we had) And yes, yes it was. Apparently, the French absolutely LOVE raclette, and a single serve of raclette, is 275 grams! That’s about 12-15 slices of cheese EACH!!! Just to put it in perspective, I had about 3-4 slices and N had about 6. Wowsers Gadget! How do French girls stay so skinny? Do they starve themselves for ten days before putting that much away?

Anyway, I guess, maybe the French don’t eat this much raclette after feasting on pre-entree sides, entrees AND bread, which I think was our downfall…

My escargot:
Les Alpes- raclette

N’s soup:
Les Alpes- raclette

This soup was so delcious- it was root vegetable and cream (and probably lashings of butter, come to think of it…) Yum!

Us in all of our dyspeptic glory:
Les Alpes- raclette

Luckily for us, we had a few days hard riding left in us, to work off all of the calories….


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