A straightforwardly delicious take on a classic quiche with complicated origins
It’s made simply enough: hand rolled shortcrust pastry layered with slowly roasted onions, the classic egg, milk, cheese, salt and pepper mixture, and topped with bacon—Artisan Foods’ preference over the usual lumps of lardon routinely mixed in with the filling: “It looks nicer,” says head baker Uwe. We tend to agree. It also avoids the flaccid, undercooked flecks of meat that so often occur in badly-made quiches.
Then it gets more complicated. What’s a usually traditional German bakery doing making quiche lorraine? Isn’t quiche lorraine from, well, Lorraine—in France? “It comes from eastern France, but we do have a similar cake in Germany: flammkuchen,” Uwe explains. “It’s almost the same but it is very thin, with bacon, onion, and sour cream, rather than egg and milk.”
In fact, the word ‘quiche’ has its roots in the German word ‘kuchen’, meaning cake. On further investigation, after the fuzzy GCSE history-shaped lightbulb in our heads flickered into action, the region that is home to this wibbly, wobbly, salty, buttery delicious amalgamation was frequently passed back and forth between France and Germany, back when the two countries had a rather less warm and collaborative relationship than they do today.
The crowning glory
The addition of cheddar? That, of course, was Britain’s input. And a happy one—though the hard hitter here is the crisp, smoky bacon, its generous presence literally the crowning glory. “When you bite into it you really feel the bacon. And with the onion, it’s got big flavours,” Uwe continues. “It’s very nice with a cold glass of white wine. That’s how they have it in France—and how we have flammkuchen in Germany, too.” With which wine does he suggest we eat it? “It’s up to you!” he laughs. “I prefer sweet”—but have whatever’s in the fridge. When it comes to quiche lorraine, not everything is complicated.