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French engineers build website to calculate ideal raclette quantities

The site aims to make sure that no food is wasted and no one goes hungry while poking fun at the world of start-ups

Raclette is a traditional dish of melted cheese, vegetables and meat Pic: margouillat photo / Shutterstock

A raclette calculator has been launched by three engineers from Lyon to help you get the dish’s quantities just right.

Raclette is a traditional Swiss dish, which is also popular in France, that consists of melted cheese scraped onto boiled potatoes, as well as various meats and sides. It is named after the cheese traditionally used in the meal.

The raclette.world website, which launched in October, looks like it was made in the 2000s.

The founders joke on the site that they have spent ‘hundreds of hours of research and development’ in order to ‘put artificial intelligence at the service of raclette’.

However, the website gets the job done.

It asks users to input information such as how many adults and children will be eating, what ingredients they want to use and how hungry the group is, on a scale from a sparrow to a wolf.

Read more: Avoir la dalle and other French hunger phrases you may hear

You can choose as many ingredients as you like from a list of cooked ham, bacon, chorizo, raw ham, Grisons meat, French pork sausage, potatoes, red onions, mushrooms and salad.

The website then calculates how much of each ingredient will be necessary to feed the group.

There is also an option for vegetarians.

Originally, raclette was made by shepherds in the Swiss Alps.

They needed food that was easy to transport when in the mountains and would not spoil easily so they would bring raclette cheese, made of cow’s milk, and potatoes.

The potatoes would roast in the fire and a big piece of cheese would be placed near it so that it would melt. The cheese would then be scraped onto the baked potatoes.

The name raclette comes from the verb racler, which means ‘to scrape’.

Now, the dish is served with various other vegetables and meats. It is also rarely cooked on an open flame, with melting machines and grills having gained popularity in the 1970s.

You will often come across raclette in Switzerland and France at restaurants and fairs, especially Christmas markets.

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