Why the term "religious"?

Raclette and the mystery of the "religieuse

Raclette is an iconic dish, especially when served with its melted crust, commonly known as "religieuse". Yet many people wonder about the origin of this name. What's more, the word "religieuse" also evokes a pastry in France. So where does the term come from?

A first idea: a link with the clergy

It seems that the term "religieuses" is only common in French-speaking Switzerland and Savoy. Jacques Montandon, famous for his TSR cooking shows, tells an interesting story. According to him, when nuns visited their families at the beginning of the 20th century, they collected kitchen leftovers, especially cheese crusts. By incorporating these crusts into their gratins, they made them tastier. In this way, what was once reserved for nuns became a prized delicacy.

A gift from the monks?

Another theory echoes the story of raclette and the nun. It suggests that monks used to taste the cheese and offer the crust, called "religieuse", to the faithful. For the faithful, it was a real delicacy.

Raclette and nuns at the château

Another story comes from the Château de Valère in Sion, Valais. Long ago, the castle's nuns, despite their limited means, had a weakness for cheese. They would secretly hide the crusts and discreetly toast them in their rooms by candlelight. The pleasure was then at its height.

The simplicity of delectation

Finally, some would say that this crust is called "religious" because its taste is simply divine. Accompanied by a raclette cheese, it's a delight for lovers of crispy, grilled flavors.

The growing popularity of the "religieuse

Today, the "religieuse" transcends borders and is gaining in popularity. Associated with raclette, it symbolizes culinary pleasure and deep-rooted traditions.
Back to blog