It’s been two days since I had my hands on the cheese and they still smell like feet.

Saturday I was helping some Friends of the Food Chain prep a raclette party by slicing two hefty wedges of raw cow’s milk Swiss cheese that they’d ordered from Binny’s. This was so we could layer it into little pie-shaped trays known as coupelles and slide them under the heating element of the tricked-out raclette grill they’ve put into service exactly twice six times. Generally that’s the kind of appliance bestowed as a wedding gift or purchased by childless couples with excess disposable income, but either way something that sees little action.

And you don’t need one to enjoy raclette, a word derived from the French verb racler, meaning “to scrape,” that refers to both the cheese—when it’s capitalized—and the meal itself. It’s said that Swiss cowboys would situate a wheel of cheese near their evening fire and when the edge got melty, they’d scrape it onto some bread.