Paris: Eat Raclette
Given the extent to which the French take pride in their food, I’ll probably be sent to the chopping block for daring to call raclette the European equivalent of Japan’s teppanyaki. But I really feel it’s the best explanation for this divine dish, at least for us Aussies, whose idea of “getting culture” usually just involves eating a tub of yoghurt. This ridiculously fun and tasty dining adventure, which has its origins somewhere in the French-speaking part of the Valais region in Switzerland, involves sitting at a table with some sort of inbuilt stove or BBQ in it. A chopping board is then brought out covered with lashings of cheese, ham, salami (or cheese, egg and veggies if you happen to be herbivorous) and a scrumptious baked potato. From there, you pick and choose whatever delights you wish to cook/melt/burn together in the bubbly cheese in your own personal saucepan. Eat it straight from the hotplate, or do as the locals do and mush your baked potato on the board first, coating it in whatever you cook before digging in your knife and fork.
The best raclette I’ve ever had in Paris was the meat platter at Les Fondus de la Raclette, of which there are three. One is at 107 Avenue Parmentier 75011, another at 209 Boulevard Raspail 75014 and the third at 19 Rue Joseph Dijon. If you’re still feeling peckish after ingesting the entire middle level of the healthy food pyramid, the fondue is also to die for. Bon appetit!