Articles and recipes for quiche from around the world
Quiche (English pronunciation: KEESH) is a savory, open-faced pie of vegetables, cheese, or meat in custard, baked in a pastry crust. The quiche is sometimes regarded as the savoury equivalent of egg custard tart.
The word quiche comes from French, which ultimately borrowed the word from Lorraine Franconian Küeche ‘cake’ (cf. German Kuchen). Central Franconian typically unrounded the ü (/y/) and shifted the fricative “ch” (/ç/) to “sh” ([?]), resulting in “kishe”, which in standard French spelling gives “quiche.”
Today quiche is considered as typically French. However, savoury custards in pastry were known in English cuisine at least as early as the fourteenth century. Recipes for custards baked in pastry containing meat, fish and fruit are referred to Crustardes of flessh and Crustade in The Forme of Cury and Harleian MSS 279 and 4016.
Quiche lorraine was originally an open pie with a filling of custard with smoked bacon or lardons. It was only later that cheese was added to the quiche Lorraine. The addition of Gruyère cheese makes a quiche au gruyère or a quiche vosgienne. The ‘quiche alsacienne’ is similar to the ‘quiche Lorraine’, though onions are added to the recipe. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust that is often baked using aspringform pan. In the north of England, a quiche lorraine is more commonly referred to as a Bacon & egg pie and is often decorated with a chequered lattice of pastry on the top.
Today, one can find many varieties of quiche, from the original quiche Lorraine, to ones with broccoli, mushrooms, ham and/or seafood (primarily shellfish). Quiche can be served as an entrée, for lunch, breakfast or an evening snack. To this day, there is a minor German influence on the cuisine of the Lorraine region. The origin of quiche Lorraine is rural and the original quiche Lorraine had a rustic style: it was cooked in a cast-iron pan and the pastry edges were not crimped.
Today, quiche Lorraine is served throughout France and has a modern look with a crimped pastry crust. The current version of quiche Lorraine served in France does not include cheese: although Americans may wish to add this, either Emmental or Gruyère. Unlike the version served in the United States, the bacon is cubed, no onions are added and the custard base is thicker.
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