As we prepare for Christmas and think about what might be on the Boxing Day buffet table, many of us will be adding quiche to the shopping list. Quiche is one of those foods that’s delicious hot or cold, so it’s perfect at any time of year. Commonly eaten cold with a crisp green salad, it’s equally tasty warmed through and served with buttered new potatoes and baked beans, or as a simple finger food. This savoury treat of egg custard within a pastry crust comes in so many varieties there’s a quiche for everyone – and despite what you might have heard, real men DO eat quiche!
But how much do you really know about this staple of the party menu? Here are a few fascinating facts to whet your appetite.
How did quiche get its name?
The dictionary definition of quiche is “an open pastry case, filled with a mixture of eggs, cream, and other savoury (= not sweet) foods, that is baked and eaten hot or cold”. The word “quiche” is French, but it’s thought that it might actually be borrowed from the German “kuchen” for cake or tart.
When did quiche first appear on our menus?
Recipes for a dish called quiche first appeared in the UK in cookery books dating back to 1805, though they were cooking quiche two hundred years earlier in France. However, a very similar dish – pastry with an egg custard and meat filling – was described in a medieval cookbook, The Forme of Cury, back in the 14th century. The dish was called “crusstades of flessh” – which doesn’t sound quite as appetising!
What was the largest quiche ever cooked?
French chef Alain Marcotullio produced the world’s biggest quiche in Paris in 1997. It used 1,928 eggs, 66kg of flour and 71kg of ham, took 18 hours to bake and served 125 people! Our own quiches are a little more modest in size – at 1.5kg each, they are perfect for a family meal.
When do we celebrate quiche?
Daft question, I know – but there is actually a National Quiche Lorraine Day on 20th May! (Curiously, May 20th is also National Pizza Party Day and Be A Millionaire Day…) But we think quiche is good enough to eat every day!
What varieties of quiche are there?
Quiche is one of those foods that you can be really creative with, and any combination of savoury fillings tends to work well. The most well-known variety is Quiche Lorraine, named after the Lorraine region of France, and it’s a simple concoction of egg custard with bacon and cheese.
The BBC Good Food website has recipes for 25 different types of quiche, including goat’s cheese and watercress, crab and ginger, and mussels, bacon and brie. There’s even a recipe for an egg-free quiche, so those with an egg allergy don’t miss out!
We prefer the more traditional flavours, and on ideli.wpengine.com you’ll find broccoli and stilton, tomato and herb, and a stunning Mediterranean vegetable variety, as well as the more common cheese and tomato and, of course, Quiche Lorraine.
So whether you’re planning your next party, or looking for a tasty addition to a buffet, don’t forget to add some quiche to your basket. You won’t be disappointed!