Saturday, 17 February 2007
Today at Borough: Cooked Cheese heaven
I'll generally take melting dairy gooeyness any way it comes. But on a Saturday morning in SE1 there's only two that matter; and you'll find them both at the same Borough Market stall, in the Green Market right by Southwark Cathedral. They are the mouth watering raclette and its partner in cheesiness, a toasted sandwich boasting an international fan base. (There are a couple of posts about the stall's history here at Ripe London -- just scroll down).
Raclette is both the name of a type of cheese and its signature dish -- a plate piled with seasoned crushed potatoes and mini dill gherkins, then smothered with a thick layer of melted cheese. Traditionally, the fromage is heated in a metal contraption containing a grill with supports for two halves of a cheese wheel. These can be swung in turn to position them under a naked flame. Once the cheese is bubbling and crusty, it is scraped over your taters. (In French, racler means 'to scrape', hence raclette.)
It's bloody delicious and the smell of the larva-like cheese wafting across Borough's Green Market is so seductive you'll want to mainline the stuff by the time you actually sight it. Which is traumatising because there's often a long queue and then that painfully difficult decision -- raclette or sanga?
Next week, sandwich.