Massive meltdown as French town breaks world raclette record

What do you get if you combine 620kg of cheese, 350kg of charcuterie and a tonne of potatoes? The answer is the world’s largest ever raclette feast – a certified triumph achieved in the south-eastern French city of Saint-Etienne.

Although its origins are Swiss, raclette is very popular in France – particularly in mountainous regions – where people gather around a special grill that slowly melts the creamy cheese, which they then scrape off onto boiled potatoes, pickles, onions and cured meats.

Like its cousin, the fondue, it’s a dish best enjoyed in a social setting; there’s no such thing as a raclette for one.

Organisers of the event in Saint-Etienne, not too far from Lyon, took the concept to new heights last Sunday when 2,236 people sat down for a gargantuan raclette which a court bailiff officially recognised as a new world record.

Record shredded

Some 10,000 potatoes were needed to shred the previous record held by students from Chambéry, a picturesque city with views of the Alps, who gathered 1,067 people around a raclette in 2022.

And the ambition doesn’t stop here. French comedian Jason Chicandier and sidekick Mathou Cann, who were behind Sunday's raclette rumpus, say they aim to double the number of guests next year.

“The goal is to get the regions to communicate with each other. That's why I’m also thinking about organising a sauerkraut [event] in Saint-Tropez, a bouillabaisse in Dunkirk or even a giant paella in Biarritz," Chicandier added.

Read more on RFI English

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