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Monday, June 25, 2012

Quiche Lorraine - The Origin of all Quiches is Lorraine in Northern France. Enjoying Quiches in France.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
Quiche on sale.
Photograph by the courtesy of Cinzia Lacovelli 
                   Quiche – Quiche and Quiche Lorraine, 
Quiche is the French department of Lorraine’s most famous culinary export, it is on menus around the world.
The Original Quiche Lorraine
The most famous quiche is still the Quiche Lorraine. It is is a mixture of eggs and fresh cream poured into a piecrust; usually with finely chopped bacon bits. Originally, and traditionally, this dish was made without cheese; now cheese, or no cheese, depends on the chef. On the local menus for the speakers of Franconian, the local German dialect, a Quiche Lorraine will be a Lothringer Speckkuchen. Try and get your tongue around that, or just order Quiche Lorraine as it is much easier.
The word quiche comes comes from the German kuchen, which means cake or flan. The French regions of Alsace and Lorraine have strong German influences and their local languages are German based. Quiche, within the the Lorraine, has also expanded its horizons and local restaurants make small versions of different quiches that are served as hors d'oeuvres.
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.  Today any pastry case recipe may be made into a "quiche" and then served hot or cold. The idea of a pie in a pastry case was certainly not an original Lorraine invention; however,  they did create  the name and the demand for quiche. 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.


    Quiche Alsacienne, from the Alsace, should, maybe more correctly, be called  tarte à l'oignon  - 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, which is hardly like any other  quiche, is made with lots and lots of onions and without cheese.  For the local Alsatian dialect speakers the menu will note zwiebelkuchen.

Enjoying a slice of quiche Lorraine in France.                 

Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
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