When my friend Nate Ming requested that I make “that stuff they’re eating” in Gintama episode 98, I was a little skeptical. After all, I’ve made food from Gintama before (namely Gintoki’s favorite parfait), and I sort of thought I’d covered all the good food in the show. Honestly, what other foods do people remember, besides Kagura’s pickled seaweed? (But if you remember anything else, though, let me know, because I love Gintama and would love to do more food from it). And then, I went back and watched the episode. And I saw. I saw the stuff.
And it was good.
My darling readers, let me tell you what these beautiful people were eating. The beloved, the amazing:
CHEESE ON TOAST!!!!
What, that doesn’t excite you like it excites me? Oh, sorry. Actually, NOT SORRY, cheesy toast bread is one of my favorite snacks of all time, but I don’t eat it much anymore because it’s… y’know. Got a lot of cheese and bread involved. Neither of which are the healthiest options. BUT it is super tasty. What intrigued me about this episode was that 1) they were cosplaying the anime version of Heidi, the seminal Swiss children’s book about a Swiss orphan child who eats an endearing amount of cheese, bread, and milk and 2) the cheese they’re using to toast over the fire is so… so… melty. And gooey. And stretchy and yummy and I just wanted to eat it melted over everything.
So I had to figure out what they used to get such a good cheese stretch.
And since they were parodying Heidi, my first order of buisness was to figure out what kind of cheese they used in Heidi to make this toast. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of love out there for all the dairy-related incidents in the book, as seen by the evidence below:
While this was a fascinating read, it gave me a key clue as to what kind of cheese I needed to purchase: Raclette. You know, the stuff you’ve seen on all those Insta posts and Facebook videos, where the guy takes a giant wheel of cheese and scrapes off the top melted layer over meats and potatoes and stuff like that? The very same stuff! I was enchanted. I’d been dying to try this cheese out for myself, and this was my moment! A phone call to my local cheese counter and $30 later, and I was in possession of some high quality raclette, directly from Switzerland.
Raclette is a hard cheese, making it easy to get thin, even slices or nice chunks of cheese. I tried to melt the cheese two ways–the first way, as seen in the anime, by toasting it over the fire. I also thinly sliced the cheese and tried melting it over a piece of bread under a broiler. For my honest review of each process watch the video. For a tl;dr version, I can say this: toasting it over a fire is fun, but messy, and sometimes inconsistent. Toasting it under a broiler is easy, fast, produces cleaner and more consistent results, but it isn’t very “hands-on.”
For those of you who think that just eating cheese on toast is a little boring, I have some optional ingredients laid out below that I think would pair beautifully with the cheese. Something else to note: the cheese has to be at the ideal temperature to get those gooey cheese strings I love so much. Can’t be too hot, but can’t be too cold either. Warm cheese, maybe a minute or two out of the oven, will give you the best stringy results. Cheese heated over actual fire is a bit more difficult to control, and can produce gooey cheese, but only if your timing is impeccable.
Watch the video below to see the full process.
Ingredients for the Melty-Cheesy Toast
-Thinly-sliced meats or salamis to eat with the toast
-Tart cherry or fig orange jam to top the toast
-Thinly-sliced tomato to top the toast
-Nutmeg or curry powder, for sprinkling on top
To Make the Melty-Cheesy Toast
1. First and preferred option: Thinly slice raclette cheese. Top bread with desired optional ingredients, and then top with cheese. Broil for 3-4 minutes until bubbly and toasted. Sprinkle with any nutmeg or curry powder to garnish. This method is best for making large batches at once, party snacks, or for easy cleanup. Eat warm for best gooey cheese results!
2. Second and more fun option: Toast bread slices. Top bread with desired optional ingredients. Cut a uniform block of cheese, and skewer. Roast over an open flame, turning constantly to avoid too much drippage. You may have to cut off more melted sections and put those on the toast while you continue to melt the cheese. Toast cheese over fire until soft and gooey, and place on top of toast. Eat warm for best gooey cheese results!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Check in next week for another recipe, and to check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a Twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My Tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Find me on Youtube for more video tutorials! Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀