I didn’t know what raclette was until I moved to NYC. I tried explaining the concept of the double decker, tabletop grill to my parents over the phone but it was just confusing…maybe I’ll have the raclette grill shipped to Hawai’i.
So while we were in London I insisted on visiting the Borough Market so that they could at least taste the raclette from Kappacasein. It’s more fun to make it yourself but at least you get to see the process here. The line was pretty long so we snacked on a variety of empanadas from Porteña.
After 5-minutes in line we realized there were TWO separate lines. One for raclette and one for their equally famous grilled cheese. Dad and sister stayed in the raclette line while mom and I went to the shorter grilled cheese line for another snack.
The sandwiches are called “toasted cheese” but it’s basically a grilled cheese. They’re pre-assembled and grilled to order. Look at all that shredded cheese!
…ta-dah. It’s made with sourdough bread from Poilâne, Montgomery Cheddar, Ogleshield cheese, chopped onions, leeks, and garlic. Decadent! We shared the second sandwich with dad and sister.
After another 20-minute wait we were at the front of the raclette line.
Gigantic wheels of Ogleshield were split in half and anchored under these broilers. Tell the guy how many orders you want and then he fills a paper bowl with boiled and chopped potatoes. They potatoes are given a quick sear before they go into the bowl, and the crispy surface bits are well…amazing.
Then wait for the cheese to get crisp. Once the top browns, it’s pull off the anchor and scrape, slide, scrape, slide, the bubbling cheese right over your potatoes. It’s topped with cornichons, pickled onions and a twist of crushed black peppercorns.
Goodness! Cold weather food at it’s finest.
We washed it down with iced coffee from Monmouth Coffee Company.
I need to return here for their pastries…
…and these fresh cream truffles.
And bitty, buttery ham rounds!
Then we went next door (because clearly we didn’t have enough cheese) to Neal’s Yard Dairy to pick up a few different cheddars.
We also visited the original Covent Garden location of Neal’s later that afternoon. We’re lucky to have many cheese shops in NYC. There’s one or two decent places for cheese in Hawai’i (Costco still has the biggest selection ;), but because turnover isn’t that great I’ve encountered more than my share of dried and overripe cheese.