Observant TFD Citizens have probably noticed a distinct trend amongst my last few recipe posts – they’re all French!
Typically, TFD posts random recipes I’ve modified from all around the world, but I realized I’d been under-representing France. As one of the 3 great cuisines of the world in terms of variety, I’m fixing that tragic oversight by posting several French recipes over the next few days before shifting back to our normal format.
For today, I give you a classic quiche recipe, but not for the expected Lorraine version. I actually prefer Quiche Alsacienne, from the next-door neighbor province of Alsace.
Both Alsace and Lorraine have a long history of Germanic influence (and in fact were part of Germany on and off for several hundred years).
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word quiche was first recorded in 1805 and is probably related to the German word “Kuchen” meaning “cake” or “tart”.
Although considered a classic French dish, the quiche actually originated in Germany, which explains why Alsace and Lorraine are the two provinces famous for quiche.
In France, there are three types of quiche: Lorraine, made with bacon (lardons) only; Vosgienne, with bacon and cheese, and Alsacienne, with bacon, onions and cheese. The French are EXTREMELY protective of these distinctions.
There is even a “Syndicat National de Défense et de Promotion de l’Authentique Quiche Lorraine” (National Society for the Protection and Promotion of the Authentic Quiche Lorraine) that says that an authentic Quiche Lorraine may only contain shortcrust pastry, egg, bacon, crême fraîche, pepper and nutmeg.
Quiche Alsaciennce traditionally doesn’t use bacon but Speck, an herbed form of pork leg. A leg of pork is deboned and divided into large sections called “baffe”, and then cured in salt and various spice combination which may include garlic, bay leaves, juniper berries, nutmeg, and other spices, and then rested for a period of several weeks. After this, it is cold-smoked over Beech wood.
Since Speck is hardly ever found in the U.S., I’ve substituted bacon with the appropriate herbs and spices. For the primary quiche recipe, I’ve cribbed the superb recipe from master Chef Thomas Keller as my base.
Citizens, I urge you to try this recipe and know what true quiche is really all about!
Battle on (and Vive La France!) – The Generalissimo
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