In French cuisine, a quiche is an oven-baked dish made with eggs and milk or cream in a pastry crust. Usually, the pastry shell is blind-baked before the other ingredients are added. Other ingredients such as cooked chopped meat, vegetables, or cheese are often added to the egg mixture before the quiche is baked. Quiche is generally an open pie (i.e. it does not include a pastry covering), but may include an arrangement of tomato slices or pastry off-cuts for a decorative finish. Quiche may be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on local customs and personal tastes.
Although quiche is now a classic dish of French cuisine, the word quiche is from the German Kuchen, meaning cake. The precursor of "quiche" originated in the medieval kingdom of Lotharingia. Similar dishes existed in other countries; savoury custards in pastry were known in English cuisine at least as early as the fourteenth century.
The well-known 'quiche Lorraine' was an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard, which is called "migaine" in Lorraine, 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 The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust that is often baked using a Springform pan.
Today, quiche Lorraine is served throughout France and has a modern look with a crimped pastry crust. Consumption of quiche Lorraine is most prevalent in the southern regions of France, where the warm climate lends itself to lighter fare. The current version of quiche Lorraine served in France does include cheese: either Emmental or Gruyère.
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