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Raclette 8-Person Party Grill

By: on May 18, 2014
$349
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One thing I do not particularly enjoy is sharing food. Tapas and family-style dining, blech. I want my own plates. Further, I want to clean them quickly and then leer at someone who's still got half of their dishes left until they feel so uncomfortable they offer me a bite of pork tenderloin or truffle mac 'n' cheese, at which point I "accidentally" take too much and devour the rest of those meals too. This raclette-style of shared cooking and eating, though, I think maybe I could support.

While the raclette ethos is entirely communal in nature, the actual process of a group of diners choosing their ingredients and grilling/melting them individually has more of an every man for himself than a shared feel. Raclette grills get their name from the Swiss cheese of the same name. Traditionally it is the centerpiece of the raclette dining process, during which hosts place trays of the cheese, along with vats of raw vegetables, meats, and bread, plus bowls of sauces on the table. Guests then lurch for the cornucopia Hunger Games-style, hoarding ingredients on their plates for sizzling on the grill's top surface, and melty, gooey cheesifying in their assigned dish underneath the cooktop. Mix-and-match possibilities of proteins and produce are as vast and varied as the rumbling guts waiting to receive them.

This particular raclette grill by West Bend accommodates 8 culinary partiers or, in my case, 7 culinary partiers and 1 food-hoarding strategist deemed the labrador retriever of dinner parties. Its non-stick grill top and accompanying granite stone top measure 16-1/2" x 11-3/4". Electrically powered, it uses 1200 watts and includes an adjustable temperature control knob.

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