Savoie Raclette, which just obtained protected designation of origin status last month, is a tender cheese with a marked and balanced taste, and an aromatic richness. This cheese is primarily made in the regions of the French Alpes ( Savoie, Haute Savoie and small parts of the Ain and Isère departments of east-central France).
To preserve the unique and authentic flavor of Savoie Raclette, the milk producers respect a certain number of conditions in order to give the cheese a milk that is rich in the characteristics of its terroir.
For example, Savoie Raclette producers only use three different breeds of cattle to produce the cheese: Tarine, Abondance and Montbéliarde. The cows are all fed a natural food, guaranteed to be non-genetically modified, composed of fresh grass in the warmer months and unlimited hay in winter. Supplementation is limited and strictly monitored, because the types of food that cows eat has an influence on the taste and flavor of the cheese.
The stringy characteristic of the cheese is linked to the savoir-faire of the cheese makers in the Savoie region as well as the use of specific types of enzymes during its production. Because of this, Savoie Raclette is more stringy, less elastic and less firm when hot. Additionally, the cheese produces significantly less oil than other cheeses, due to its fat content being limited to a maximum of 52%.
Savoie Raclette is a cheese that appreciates heat. Its consistency gives it the ability to melt easily and to flow in a uniform manner. This is due to its milkfat content, which is always between 48% and 52%. Because of this, it melts and browns in a consistent manner, all the way to its center, without bunching or burning.
If you’re looking for a way to try Savoie Raclette, there are numerous ways it can be enjoyed. Try it in a fondue, a croque monsieur, lasagna, or mixed with potatoes. As for wine pairings, Savoie Raclette is traditionally enjoyed with white wines. Why not try a wine that comes from the same terroir, like Roussette de Savoie or Chignin Bergeron? Côtes du Rhone wines are also good picks.