Ari's Top 5, Creamery, Good Food

Raclette at the Cream Top Shop

Stay warm and have a marvelous meal at the same time

I can’t say I was really ready for all this rain, but it is Spring. How best to warm up? Heading over to Plaza Drive to order up a bowlful of these hot potatoes and warm melted cheese is a good way to go!

If you haven’t been to the retail store at the Creamery—the Cream Top Shop—it’s about 100 yards south of the Bakehouse (just to the north of the Coffee Company and the Candy Store) out at what we call Zingerman’s Southside. It’s where we make our fresh Cream Cheese, goat cheeses, gelato, and more! But it’s also a lovely place to grab a sandwich or snack for lunch, a bottle of wine or beer to take home for dinner, or a bit of one of the 40 or 50 American artisan cheeses we sell. We’ve also got a host of great classes about eating cheese, making cheese, pairing cheese and purchasing cheese that you might want to check out.

To make the Raclette, we’re using one of our favorite American cheeses—the Reading cheese from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont. A semi-firm cheese that’s modeled after a Swiss Raclette, the Reading takes its name from the town Reading, Vermont, where it’s made. Spring Brook is all about sustainable farming and making traditional, local agriculture financially, as well as ecologically, sustainable. They started about a decade ago with their excellent Tarentaise cheese, and they’re actively engaged in getting better on every front. The Reading is made from the raw milk of two local farms with a combined herd of about 40 Jersey cows. Although the Jersey’s milk yields are lower, the milk is richer and known for making particularly tasty cheese. The Reading we’ve got on hand is aged for about four months and has a great creamy texture and nutty flavor with a nice nose. Raclette aside, it’s also delicious on a cheese board, salads, grilled cheese, or added to an omelet.

Raclette means to “scrape” in French. In Switzerland Raclette is one of the best-selling cheeses. And this time of year Raclette is one of the most popular winter meals. For good reason. When it’s really cold out, who would argue with a warming, filling, delicious dinner—or lunch—of great potatoes and melted cheese? I know I wouldn’t! If you go back and re-read the book Heidi, you’ll come across her grandfather preparing a traditional Raclette in front of an open fire. Raclette is very much Valaison soul food, simple comfort food that soothes the spirit, satisfies the taste buds, and much more practically, fills the stomach. And thanks to the crew at the Creamery, we can now have it for lunch every day!

We’re serving Raclette all day at the Cream Top Shop every day. We plate it up with the traditional accompaniments: hot potatoes, cornichons, pickled peppers, and onions. It’s a tasty way to eat well and stay warm at the same time!