Let’s talk about the raclette, retro step-sibling to the fondue pot

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Vintage Raclette

Last month, our friends the hot architects brought their vintage raclette over to have dinner. (Yes, the same hot architects whose wedding I crashed last summer. They’ve become friends, and in fact we’re hiring them to help us with our condo remodel). So, have you ever seen one of these things before? I had not. It’s basically this portable double-decker hot plate, with these special little dishes you use to melt a shit load of cheese over veggies and/or meat. You then scrape the hot, oozing, deliciously cheese-greasy mess onto bread (or I guess just straight into your mouth).

Of course, I immediately started dreaming of sweet raclette dishes — marshmallows and Nutella, oozing over strawberries and bananas? Toasted raisin bread, with brandy-sweetened butter sauce? Someone hold my keys: I’m goin’ in…

Aesthetically, this thing looked straight out of a key party. The squat shape, the orange and brown palette, the thick swirling accents. I don’t know anything about food fads, but based on the design, it looked like raclettes had a moment in the sun around the same time as fondue pots, although if I’ve never seen one, they must have fallen out of favor a bit harder. I mean, I don’t know anyone who has a fondue set, but it’s not like I’ve never even SEEN one before.

Looking around, modern raclettes do exist, but they do NOT look as cool as the one the architects inherited. When I tried researching the history, all I got is the big picture stuff — does anyone know when raclettes were hip? Are they a thing now?

Comments on Let’s talk about the raclette, retro step-sibling to the fondue pot

  1. I recently had a raclette dinner in Seattle. My Swiss friends’ brought over theirs when they moved from Switzerland. They found raclette cheese somewhere in town and made boiled potatoes with it. It’s a very toddler-friendly meal, once the cheese cools, of course!

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