History and authenticity of Valais raclette cheese

The history of raclette: an exceptional culinary tradition

In this article, we delve into the mouth-watering world of Valais raclette, a gastronomic specialty rooted in the peaks of the Swiss Alps. Let's discover the captivating history of this culinary marvel and succumb to the perfect harmony between the melting cheese and the inimitable flavors of raclette.

The ancient roots of cheese raclette

The history of raclette goes back to antiquity, as Pliny mentions the vatusic cheese of the Alps, perhaps the ancestor of Bagnes, one of the essential cheeses in Valais raclette.

In the Middle Ages, more precisely in 1574 in Sion, Valais, Switzerland, Ambuel, a pharmacist, reported that on Sundays, the population went to the mountain pastures to taste melted cheeses, a delectable experience.

The Valais raclette tradition

The tradition of Valais raclette has endured for centuries. In 1874, Eugène Rambert described it as "the king of delights", underlining its eminent place in Valais gastronomy. At that time, five notaries served raclette at the Glacière in Sion, demonstrating its crucial cultural and social role.

The Valais raclette cheese-making process

Valais raclette is made using local, consistent methods. Artisans carefully process raw milk in a copper vat. They respect precise renneting and heating temperatures (32°C and 42°C). The duration of coagulation and the delicate working of the grain are essential. To obtain the characteristic texture and flavours of Valais raclette cheese.

Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for Valais raclette cheese

The Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) guarantees the authenticity of Valais raclette. Until the 1960s, producers made this cheese exclusively in the Valais region. However, imitations began to appear, causing concern among the Valais authorities. AOC certification was obtained on December 10, 1981, preserving its authenticity and quality.

Today, Valais raclette enjoys a worldwide reputation. It is right and necessary to preserve this authentic specialty in order to fairly reward the artisans who create it. The AOC confers inestimable value on Valaisanne raclette, assuring consumers of superior quality.

Valais raclette has travelled beyond Switzerland's borders, becoming a star of gastronomic evenings abroad. Specialized restaurants offer a unique culinary experience, spreading Valaisan culture around the world.
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