Why is a raclette cheese hard to scrape?

The secrets of Valaisan raclette cheese texture

Valaisan raclette cheese is a true delight for lovers of creamy, melting cheese. However, it's no mystery that some raclette cheeses are easier to scrape than others. The texture of this cheese depends on several key factors, and in this article, we'll explore these secrets to understand why some raclette cheeses are creamier than others.

The crucial manufacturing stage

At the heart of the texture of Valais raclette cheese lies the manufacturing phase. The heating process is particularly crucial, lasting around 30 minutes, when the vat reaches a temperature of 40°C. This heating helps dry the cheese grain. However, the right balance must be struck. Too rapid a start to heating can lead to a film forming around the grain, making the raclette too runny. On the other hand, excessive heating can make the grains too dry, making scraping laborious. These variations contribute to the diversity of textures in raclette cheeses.

Heating time and final texture

Heating time plays a vital role in the final texture of Valais raclette cheese. The 30-minute heating period is crucial to developing the cheese's characteristic creamy, melting consistency. During this time, the cheese curds undergo chemical and physical transformations. Well-controlled heating promotes balanced coagulation and creates a creamy, melting texture. However, insufficient heating can result in a less creamy cheese, while excessive heating can make it harder.

Other factors to consider

In addition to heating time, other factors influence the texture of Valais raclette cheese. Milk composition, coagulation time, grain handling and the maturing process are all essential. The use of raw milk brings a unique richness and complexity of flavor. A well-managed coagulation time is necessary to obtain the desired consistency. Working with the grain, by breaking and blending it, also influences the final texture. Finally, the maturing process, with precise control of temperature and humidity, refines the cheese's texture and aromas.

Conclusion: The magic of raclette cheese texture

In conclusion, cheese texture is the result of a complex combination of factors, with heating time at the forefront. Understanding these elements is essential to fully appreciate the diversity of textures to be found in raclette cheeses. Whether you prefer a melt-in-your-mouth raclette or a firmer one, there's a Valaisan raclette cheese for every palate, each with its own textural secrets to reveal.
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