About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Friday, October 10, 2008
Say Cheese
I wandered into my favourite local cheese shop to pick up some pecorino Romano. As they were cutting a wedge for me, I noticed a wheel of Heidi raclette nestled amongst some of the more pungent cheeses on display. It piqued my curiosity, for during last winter, I bought a thick wedge of a Swiss raclette to turn into, well, raclette, that dish of the same name, consisting of plain boiled potatoes along with some cornichons, topped with melted raclette. We've done it before, rather romantically in front of our open fire.

But this time, there was an unexpected problem, I let my wife, D, try some, uncooked. Those who know raclette can probably guess what happened, she has issues with a certain class of smelly cheese and literally turned her nose up at this particularly odorous example and that was that, no raclette.

Now since we had had it before, it must have been that D didn't taste it beforehand, for when raclette is cooked, it loses a lot of its pungency and sensitive souls are able to taste its delights, but that moment was now long gone.

So when I saw this other wheel, from a well regarded Australian maker, the thought hit me that it was perhaps milder and what I might have used last time around, so I asked for a taste. The willing assistant said as she cut me a piece,

"This is from France!"

"No it's not, it's from Tasmania!"

"No, it's French," then called out to the shop owner hesitantly, "This raclette, it's from France?"

"Yes it is, that's what the rep told us."

She wandered over and began to examine the label on the cheese.

Now I'm no expert on European nomenclature and the French do have some issues, like bombing out of existence a coral atoll in the middle of the Pacific, contaminating it for the next 100,000 years or so and then sinking a boat in its home harbour that had been exposing them, killing a crewman in the process, this in a country that had helped to liberate them during the Second World War.

They might do all of that, God love 'em, but I don't think they would pinch such a dyed-in-the-wool Swiss name as Heidi and stamp it on one of their cheeses, that would be a sacrilege; an Aussie would, but then again, we don't have a nuclear arsenal to play with and pinching things is a long ingrained tradition here, think Waltzing Matilda, a song about sheep stealing, which we like to lustily belt out at the Bledisoe Cup rugby matches we play against New Zealand. They do have an awful lot of sheep, wonder if it makes them nervous? We also have some form, having already taken their pavlova as our own.

The two women continued their examination of the raclette wheel.

"Look, it is from Tasmania." said one

"Wait till I get my hands on that rep!" said the other.
  posted at 7:30 am

At 12:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are moments when you just need to go "DUH!" to some people... :P

At 3:20 pm, Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm giggling....

At 9:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the maker knows what he is doing and local products match, usualy the water, lots of things translate well to other regions of the world.

Back in the late 60s a Brie from northern US was winning International Competitions and currently the best Scotch is a Sun Tory marque.


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