Easy & delicious Christmas

16 Dec

With Christmas in the prospect, I’m already thinking about what we’re going to eat. Raclette is something we Dutch people do when we gather around with friends and family for a nice and delicious meal. It has become so popular the past few years, that nowadays 1 out of 3 Dutchies use raclette to complete their Christmas party. But what is raclette exactly? Raclette is cooking on an electric Raclette grill, which is positioned in the middle of the table. Everybody gathers around and gets their own small pan to cook the kind of meat and vegetables they want. But, in the eyes of the connoisseur, raclette may be nothing more than vulgar tradition. Not only your clothes are getting smelly, but even your house has to ventilate for a few more days after it. And, even though the food itself is delicious, there aren’t a lot of vitamins in it.

This greasy Christmas tradition we have due to two chefs: Huub Oudshoorn and Ton Boer. They traveled together through Holland from the late 1970s until somewhere in the 1990s to give raclette demonstrations to housewife associations and schools. Preparing your own food at the table exists in many cultures – Korean barbecue, Chinese hotpot or Swiss cheese fondue – but the Dutch raclette tradition was coined by these two gentlemen as an advertising campaign for butchers. To avoid confusion: they have not invented the phenomenon of raclette, but they introduced it to the Dutch people.

In 1977, the Meat Information Office noticed that cheese fondue became very popular. Holland is a land of dairy, but if it continues like this, cheese will become more popular than meat in the future. To avoid this, Oudshoorn and Boer got the assignment to come up with something which would made consumers eat more meat.

Raclette was a perfect solution for butchers to sell more meat. With this, they could show people how to prepare meat and make sure they would buy more meat. Because, instead of one piece of meat per person, you eat three times as much as you’d normally do while doing raclette. From then on, they started to travel the country four times a week to demonstrate the raclette with small pieces of meat, which were made by local butchers. They added different cocktails sauces themselves. By doing this, they introduced raclette to thousands of people. And that’s the reason why we still love to raclette during the holidays.

The secret of raclette is hidden in a few things. It’s typical Dutch: easy and conviviality. You hardly need to prepare and if you take a seat, you don’t need to get up anymore. Another advantage of raclette is that there’s no one to blame when something fails, because you made it yourself.

Even though raclette became much more popular over the years, Oudshoorn and Boer are sorry that supermarkets trumped the butcher with their ready-to-eat gourmet dishes. At the beginning, butchers gained their profit from raclette, but all that cheap meat from the supermarket has conquered the market. However, they want to make people aware of the huge quality difference between meat from the supermarket and meat from a butcher. The second one has more quality, is more sustainable and has a better taste.

After typing this post, I started to think about raclette. I’d still love to do it upcoming Christmas, because I like the way the food is prepared and it’s just really innermost to do with family and friends. However, I’m doubting meat from the supermarket. We always use this meat for raclette, but I get curious what’s the different in taste between this meat and meat from a real butcher. I might go to a butcher this year to buy my groceries for my Christmas meal.

raclette 6

But in which way does raclette contribute to people’s quality of life? At first, it became more and more popular over the years, which means that people like it. And even though the food isn’t that healthy, the experience of raclette increases people’s QOL. By doing it together, they create a feeling of emotional wellbeing for themselves, which also encourages their quality of life.

Source:

http://www.iens.nl/foodspots/munchies-dankzij-deze-koks-gourmetten-we-massaal-tijdens-de-kerst/

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