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Mmmmm: The Cheese Man and The Raclette

by Krista

Borough Market
The Green Market

Date of Last Visit: Saturday, July 30th

The Victims: K & A

The Damage: 4 quid

The Setup: After having a delicious dinner at L the night before, I made plans to meet up with K & A at Borough Market at noon on Saturday. This is my Saturday ritual as it is, although usually I try to hit the market around 11 when there’s still room to walk. But no matter.

The Cheese Man was the first person we encountered. Now for as long as I’ve known the cheese man, he’s been over by Neil’s Yard and Monmouth Coffee, making his delicious cheese sandwiches. But as Ripe London noted a few weeks ago, the cheese man has had to relocate. And he’s relocated right by the entrance from London Bridge. I think the new spot is very very good–he has much more space now and there’s lots going on. There were gurkins piled high in their containers, fire–what’s raclette without fire–and lots of cheese and lots of sandwiches and lots of helpers and customers.

We watched enviously as people walked away with plates of potatoes, delicious cheese, and tiny gurkins. What is this raclette, I wondered? Well, later in the day, Wikipedia told me everything I needed to know about this most delicious of dishes.

Let me tell you what it is. It’s fine jersey potatoes, a little boiled and a little broiled. It’s delcious melted cheese, melted under a fire. And it’s oh-so-cute baby gerkins. All on a plate. It’s perfect. Oh so perfect. We took our dish and sat out on the grass by the church, enjoying every last bit.

Reading about Raclette reminded me of Austria and Spaghettata. When I was an exchange student in Innsbruck Austria way too many years ago, my Sued-Tirolean flatmate, Margit, invited me over to her friends’ place for a Spaghettata evening. This basically meant that they cooked up a whole lot of spaghetti, and seasoned it simply with olive oil, sea salt, and parmesean. They served it with a green salad with the perfect balsamic vinigrette. It was one of my favorite nights in Austria. I remember we all sat on the floor of a very dark apartment (someone was trying to be romantic) in the Altstadt in Innsbruck  and enjoyed all this very simple but very delicious food. Along with a number of delicious wines from Austria and Sued Tirol. (Aside: What I found fascinating during my stay in Innsbruck was the number of Italian students from Northern Italy–Sued Tirol–who had German as a first language.) It was a great night, and the food was of the best kind–there was lots of it, and it was good.

The Verdict: I love raclette and will endeavor to cook it all the time.

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1 comment

tom October 26, 2008 - 1:00 pm

Does The Cheese Man still have his stall at Borough Market? I was wondering around yesterday and didn’t spot him anywhere. Can anyone shed some light on this?

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