I Love Raclette: Kappacasein

Raclette 1

I can really relate to mice.  If I were standing in front of a mousetrap and I had to make the choice between cheese and certain gory death, or no cheese….  Well, in the presence of cheese I don’t think I’d be of sound enough mind to make the right decision.

I have found my mousetrap.  Raclette.  Amazingly, I had never had it before.  But I’d heard of the famous “melted cheese” depot at Borough Market here in London.  They serve “the best” grilled cheeses made with the famous Montgomery cheddar, and raclette.  Which is raclette cheese broiled on a special machine until it bubbles and melts and goos and pools.  Then, the man scrapes the melted puddle all over a pile of smashed potatoes, served with sharp little cornichons to clean the fattiness from your mouth between bites.  If this plate of raclette was on a giant Kerrytrap, there would be no way I could resist.  I’d be toast.  Sandwiched into a delicious grilled cheese.

Raclette 2

What I like about the raclette is that it’s especially pungent–not overwhelmingly so, and not in that piquant way that something soft and stinky like Camembert might be.  But it’s a melting cheese that still packs a punch, and smells distinctively toasty and nutty.  It’s the kind of food that in the absence of a down blanket, chicken noodle soup, and a friend who loves you, will banish any woe to splitsville.

And while the whole apparatus for the raclette may seem like something of a cruel and unusual cheesy torture device, I love that it keeps raclette special.  I have to crave it, think it, want it, and then go for it.  I can’t make it at home (although I intend to do a little testing with my broiler) without investing in an expensive raclette machine.  Frankly, I’d rather get on the subway, spend 5 pounds, and just enjoy the rarity, specialness, and decadence of it.  Mr. English took our little plate into the churchyard just beyond the fence to the market, and engaged in the most competitve cheese eating contest London has ever witnessed.  It’s warmness, the heartiness, and the consistency, both in the sense of the melted gooey cheese and in the sense of the plate of one classic, unadulterated thing, that makes you want your fair share of raclette.

I love when something so simple, so humble, so pure, so unpretending is just so damn perfect.  It’s like an effortless beauty that turns heads with no makeup.  Cheese, potatoes.  Nothing more, and nothing less.

Raclette 3


According to the Kappacasein webpage, they are no longer trading at Borough Market, which comes as something of a shock.  Follow the link for their new location.

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Categories: Finds, London, Voyages

6 Responses to I Love Raclette: Kappacasein

  1. Gi says:

    Dear Kerry,
    in Switzerland there’s a mini-Raclette oven (one cheese slice at the time) fuelled by tealight candles, which could ideally make up for the lack of a friend who loves you.
    I’m pretty sure you can find something similar in a well furnished UK cheese store – to give you an idea of how it looks: http://huetten-urlaub.org/2010/12/27/raclette-ofen-fur-teelichter-auf-dem-markt/.

    I love love love love your blog. And I’m a religious follower of the working girls dinners :)
    Thanks for all the cooking,


  2. Kerry says:

    Hi Gi! I love the tea light raclette maker. How cool is that? I found this electric one at Williams-Sonoma in the States: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/electric-raclette-maker/?pkey=e%7Craclette%7C1%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Top_Marketing_free_ship_cookware_billboard-_-. I actually think it might be a good investment for me (along with a treadmill). Thank you for loving the blog! I love you for loving it. And if you have any Working Girl requests, let me know…
    Thanks for reading!

  3. Oh my. This looks simply divine. I had only ever seen homemade raclette contraptions…this one takes it to a whole new level!

    Kerry, I have followed your blog for several years and am just now seeing the redesign. It’s gorgeous!

  4. Kerry says:

    I know! I’m going to have to invest in some form of one for my apartment.

    Thank you! For following, and for thinking it’s gorgeous! I so appreciate it.

  5. Garrett says:

    I love raclette, and the season has just started again! In fact, I got one of those tealight mini raclette heaters. Not too sure how well it’ll work, but I guess we’ll find out tonight! :-)