Monday, June 25, 2012

Quiche Lorraine - The Origin of all Quiches is the Lorraine in North-Eastern France.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
Updated March 2018.

Quiche Lorraine with cheese.

Quiche – Quiche and Quiche Lorraine,

The old French region of Lorraine in North-Eastern France has Quiche Lorraine as its most famous culinary export. Quiche Lorraine and other quiches that developed from the original are found on menus all over the world.
The Original Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine is a mixture of eggs, and fresh cream poured into a piecrust; usually with finely chopped lardons, bacon bits. Originally, and traditionally, this dish was made without cheese; now cheese, or no cheese, depends on the chef.  Quiche, within the Lorraine, has also expanded its horizons and local restaurants now offer tens of different quiches.
The traditional quiche is made using a pâte brisée, a French short crust pastry that is a crumbly unleavened dough. (The word brisée means broken),

Quiche on sale.
Quiche on restaurant menus:

Vous Propose une Large Sélection de Quiches et Tartes Pour vos Entrées – We offer a large selection of quiches and tartes for your first entrée. (The French entrée is the first course, the US starter). 

Quiche Tomates Mozzarella Basilic – A quiche with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. This sounds like a pizza Margherita with a different base.

Traditionnelle Quiche Lorraine, Salade De Saison – A traditional quiche Lorraine, with a seasonal salad.
Quiche Citrouille – A pumpkin quiche.
Quiche and salad.
Quiche Chèvre Tomate – A quiche with goat’s cheese and tomatoes.
Quiche au Saumon et Poireaux – Quiche with salmon and leeks.
Quiche aux Légumes Grillés et sa Verdurette - Quiche with grilled vegetables and a small green salad salad.

Quiche on sale in Italy.
Tarte Salées Maison (Quiche Lorraine et Tarte Provençale)  Accompagnées d'une Salade Verte - Homemade savory tarts (Quiche Lorraine  and Tarte Provençale)  accompanied by a green salad.  (The pastry used is often only difference between a tarte and a quiche).

The quiche outside of the Lorraine.

Outside of the Lorraine, and even more so outside France, quiche has become the name for any number of recipes baked in a light flaky pastry case.  The idea of a pie in a pastry case was certainly not an original Lorraine invention; however, along the way that made the Quiche Lorraine an international dish and made their own part of France famous.  I have, to my sorrow, on my travels, seen USA versions of Quiche Lorraine made with processed cheese.

Make your own quiche in the USA

The German language in use in the Lorraine.

The word quiche comes from the German kuchen, which means cake or flan. The Alsace and Lorraine changed rulers with every war and change in the wind of politics. While all the citizens of Lorraine speak perfect French their local dialects is German based. On the local menus there will be two languages French and Franconian. Franconian is the German dialect used in Lorraine and a Quiche Lorraine in Franconian is a Lothringer Speckkuchen. .
Where is Lorraine

The old French regions of Alsace and Lorraine now included, since 1-1-2016 together with the old region of Champagne-Ardenne in the super region of Grande Est have strong German influences.

The new super-region of the Grande Est.
Photograph courtesy of
Quiche Alsacienne

Lorraine’s historical neighbor is the old region of the Alsace, and before being merged into the Grande Est its two departments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin made it the smallest region of France. When you are traveling in the Grande Est, you may wish to visit the magnificent wine region of the Alsace. It is home to some of the best white wines in France and you may enjoy them with the excellent Alsatian cuisine.
On menus in the Alsace, you may be offered a Quiche Alsacienne.  Maybe, more correctly, it should be called a tarte à l'oignon, an onion pie. Some restaurants trying to interest visitors in local cuisine have chosen this dish to be the quiche of the Alsace.  Traditionally this dish is made with lots and lots of onions and without cheese.  For the local Alsatian dialect speakers, the menu will note zwiebelkuchen.
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Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
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