The stall owner greets me cheerily. They are very cheery, in Switzerland. I am still trying to decide whether they’re incredibly friendly and warm or if it’s just that I’ve been living in Estonia for too long. Either way, it’s a nice change, if a little unsettling after all this time of learning not to greet strangers or smile at passers-by in the street.
François wishes to know whether I would like some Raclette. “Erm… what is Raclette?” I ask curiously, having never heard of such a thing before. François informs me that it is a Swiss cheese, melted and served with a small potato, pickled onions and gherkins.
I purchase some Raclette.
Standing in the queue with my ticket in hand, the aroma of melting cheese and new potatoes almost kills me. It seems that Raclette is an extremely popular Swiss dish, at least in Vevey. I wait, and wait, and wait.
But it is worth it when François greets me again at the head of the queue and shows me the little grill, under which sits a truly immense slab of cheese. “We wait for a few minutes, then we scrape!” he informs me, explaining that “Raclette” comes from the French verb “racler” , “to scrape”. I watch excitedly and with a rumbling tummy as the top of the cheese begins to bubble and drip. François lifts the slab and, with a large knife, scrapes all the melted cheese on to my plate. He adds a potato and some pickles to the gooey pile of goodness, and bids me bon appétit.
It’s not exactly a professional food review, but here goes:
Nom nom nom nom nom!
I like Raclette.