Culture

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Raclette and Fondue : “la religieuse”

religieuse1

Why is it called “religieuse” cheese rind that forms the bottom of pot?

The origin of the word “religieuse” remains very mysterious.
You should know that this word with this sense, is only used in French-speaking Switzerland and Savoy.
In France, a “religieuse” refers to a pastry.
We read in the “Swiss Dictionary romand” that “religieuse” is not only the “party slightly burnt melted in the bottom of the pot,” but also refers to the “grilled and crispy edges of the raclette cheese wheel exposed to fire “.
Also in the “Dictionary Swiss Romand”, we learn that it is a relatively new and unknown origin. Corinna Bille speaks in “Theoda” published in 1944.

Its origin is unknown it leaves us as assumptions … Here one given by Dominik Flammer in its “Swiss Cheese” book: “This expression comes from the fact that the monks when they had feasted on cheese, left only crust believers. Which is yet reveled in this piece which is still for gourmets a real delight. ”

According to Jacques Montandon, the term “religieuse” is due to the fact that religious, in the early twentieth century, when they were visiting families, asking them to put aside what was not used in cooking, the cheese crusts. They have used these for their gratin. Their gratin is very good, we started eating what once served only to “trim the religieuse.” ”

And finally here’s a third explanation found in the “French-Swiss Romand Lexicon” by Robert Ferreol: “There are a hundred years, the sisters living in the castle of Valere in Sion did not have much to survive the ‘winter.
But it was gourmet and when they ate lunch with cheese, they hid the rinds in their dress,
so that once removed from the privacy of their cells, [they can] grilling fresh to the candle and enjoy the quiet. ”

Bibliography

“Cheeses from Switzerland”, Jacques Montandon
“Cooking over the Rhone” Jacques Montandon
“The Valais table: legend, history and truth of gluttony in Valais country,” Jacques Montandon

Tv programme

“A word” of 3 December 2002 on the RTS:
“Raclette: The underside of the religious.”
http://www.rts.ch/emissions/abe/alimentation/1368549-raclette-les-dessous-de-la-religieuse.html