Snapshots from London: Raclette at Borough Market's Kappacasein



[Photos: Carey Jones]

A hungry Friday wanderer could concoct hundreds of possible lunches from the vendors at London's Borough Market. But it's hard to imagine any of them could compare with the raclette at the Kappacasein stall.

20091012raclette-sign2.jpg Kappacasein is run by Will Oglethorpe, a master affineur at nearby Neal's Yard Dairy, the acclaimed cheese store at the edge of Borough Market. There are only two things on the menu, and both make use of his signature cheese: the Ogleshield. Made from the milk of Jersey cows, in a partnership between Oglethorpe and the Montgomery producers (of Montgomery Cheddar fame), the Ogleshield is made in the style of Swiss raclette—salted, then massaged, then aged at Neal's Yard.

All this gives you a semisoft, pungently flavored cheese, perfect for melting—either in sandwich form, or, in a far more exciting move, roasting under flatirons and sliding onto grilled potatoes in an irresistible molten stream.

The cheese waterfall, after the jump.


Half-wheels of Ogleshield cheese are roasted beneath hot irons. (Swiss cow herders used to melt the cheese in front of an open fire. But they were a bit more patient... and without a twenty-deep queue.)


When the cheese starts to bubble and burn, it's scraped back down for a smooth, even melt.


Meanwhile, the yellow boiled Charlotte potatoes are tossed on the heat for a quick sear, and piled on a plate with gherkins and pickled onions. Plus a few good grinds of salt on top.


When the cheese has melted about a half-inch down, it's time for the scrape! Position the tool at the top...


loosen the melted layer of cheese...


... and slide onto the potatoes.


Oh, yes.


The crispy, steaming potatoes, the gooey, pungent cheese—if you're in need of a good, warming meal, there's nothing more satisfying. Especially on a cloudy, cool day. And let's face it; in London, the odds are pretty high.

Carey is over in London thanks to Visit London, the city's official tourist organization, in connection with Virgin Atlantic and the Intercontinental Park Lane.