World Raclette Day Date in the current year: December 13, 2024

World Raclette Day If you love cheese, you absolutely should celebrate World Raclette Day on December 13. This amazing holiday recognizes a Swiss cheese dish that historically originates from the canton of Valais.

Raclette is made by heating cheese, scrapping off the melted part, and serving it with boiled potatoes and various other accompaniments. It’s similar to fondue in that both dishes are based on melted cheese, and at some point raclette was considered a variation of fondue (fondue valaisanne), but today it is a dish in its own right.

The first mentions of dishes based on melted cheese being prepared in Switzerland date back to the late 13th century. Cow herders in the Swiss Alps carried cheese with them while moving cows to or from pastures. In the evening, they placed the cheese next to a campfire to soften it, then scraped the softened cheese onto bread.

The name raclette became common in the late 19th century. The dish was promoted as a national dish of the canton of Valais for the first time at the 1909 cantonal exhibition in Sion (Exposition Cantonale Valaisanne à Sion 1909), bit it didn’t begin to gain national and international attention until the Swiss national exposition of 1964.

Raclette is typically made from a Swiss-type cheese that is marketed specifically as raclette cheese. Traditionally, the dish was made by placing a big piece of cheese in front of an open fire and regularly scraping off the melting side. Today, however, it is more common to use a special electric table-top grill (raclonette), small skillets (coupelles), and sliced cheese.

In Valais, raclette is traditionally served on warm plates with small boiled or steamed potatoes. It can also be accompanied by pickled cucumbers (cornichons), pickled onions, and charcuterie (air-dried beef – viande des Grisons, prosciutto, salami, and other meats). Drinks that go well with raclette include black or herbal tea, kirschwasser, and white wines such as Chasselas, Riesling, and Pinot Gris.

World Raclette Day (La journée mondiale de la raclette) was launched in 2018 by two French companies: cheese manufacturer Compagnie des Fromages et RichesMonts and infotainment group Topito. According to them, the best way to celebrate World Raclette Day is to throw a raclette party. The holiday’s official website even offers a few tips for those who want their party to be a success:

  • Make sure everyone has their own skillet (if your guest list is extensive, make it a “bring your own skillet” party).
  • Remember that ventilation is important.
  • Find raclette recipes you want to try beforehand and make sure you have all required ingredients.
  • Although raclette can be serious business, don’t get too serious: it’s all about having fun and enjoying delicious food!

If you’re not in the mood for partying, it’s okay! There are other ways to celebrate World Raclette Day. You can enjoy the dish at home with your significant other or by yourself, go out to a restaurant that serves raclette, splurge on an assortment of Swiss cheeses (including raclette cheese, of course), and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #WorldRacletteDay.

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World Raclette Day, international observances, food days, raclette, Swiss cuisine