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Quiche (// KEESH) is a savoury, open-faced pastry crust with a filling of savoury custard with cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables. Quiche can be served hot or cold. It is part of French cuisine but is also popular in other countries, particularly as party food.
The word "quiche" comes from French, which ultimately borrowed the word from Lorraine Franconian "Küeche" (meaning "cake"). Central Franconian typically unrounded the "ü" [y] and shifted the fricative "ch" [ç] to "sh" [ʃ], resulting in [kiʃ], which in standard French spelling gives "quiche".
Although known as a classic French dish, the quiche originated in Germany. The word quiche means "cake" which came from the German word Kuchen. Today, quiche is considered as typically French. However, custards in pastry were known in English cuisine at least as early as the 14th century. Recipes for custards baked in pastry containing meat, fish and fruit are referred to Crustardes of flessh and Crustade in the 14th-century The Forme of Cury and in 15th-century cookbooks as well.
Quiche has a pastry crust and a filling of eggs and milk or cream which, when baked, becomes a custard.
Quiche lorraine is a popular variant that 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. Some recipes of quiche lorraine also include ham. 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 The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust that is often baked using a springform pan.
The origin of quiche lorraine is in rural Lorraine Region of France 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. The United States version is unlike that served in France; the bacon is not cubed, onions are added and the custard base is thinner.
There are many variants of quiche, including a wide variety of ingredients. Variants may be named descriptively, often in French, e.g. quiche au fromage (quiche with cheese) and quiche aux champignons (quiche with mushrooms) or conventionally, e.g. florentine (spinach) and provençale (tomatoes).
In popular culture
In the comic series "Bone", one of the rat creature characters constantly states that he wants to cook Fone Bone in a quiche.
The 3rd episode of the 3rd series of the BBC science-fiction comedy Red Dwarf (entitled "Polymorph") contains a scene where the character Arnold Rimmer wears a t-shirt which states "Give Quiche A Chance" after having all his anger sucked out of him.
- Alain Rey, ed., Dictionnaire historique de la langue française, s.v. "quiche" (Paris: Larousse, 2006).
- Online Etymology Dictionary Etymonline.com
- Hieatt, Constance, and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglysch: English culinary manuscripts of the fourteenth century (including the forme of cury). London, EETS SS 8, 1985.
- Austin, Thomas, ed. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery Books. London, EETS OS 91, 1888, repr. 1964.
- Julia Child, 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' (New York: Knopf, 1967), p. 147. ISBN 978-0-394-40152-2
- Ange, E., & Aratow, P. (2005). La bonne cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange: the original companion for French home cooking. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.
- Nathan, J. (2010). Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: my search for Jewish cooking in France. New York: Alfred A. Knopf
- "Definition of quiche by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "Quiche Origins, History & Recipes". Foodreference.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
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