June 29, 2004

Real Men Eat Quiche

OK. A "normal" quiche--milk, eggs, bacon, swiss cheese--is a quiche Lorraine. Add onions and it becomes a quiche Alsacienne. But what if your wife wants to replace the swiss cheese with well-aged cheddar? Does it then become a quiche Grand-Bretagne?

And how about the neighboring provinces? Why aren't there any examples of the quiche Ardennais, the quiche Schwartzwalder, the quiche Burgogne, the quiche Champagne, or the quiche Suisse?

Posted by DeLong at June 29, 2004 10:50 PM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post
Comments

"And how about the neighboring provinces? Why aren't there any examples of..."

You only get quiche-naming rights if the Germans occupy your province for a generation.

Real men know the details of the Danzig quiche-naming accord of 1852.

Posted by: Petey on June 29, 2004 11:02 PM

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If your wife replaces the swiss with cheddar, what it becomes is edible.

Sorry, I'm hopelessly prejudiced against swiss. Given that I've already had a couple of beers this evening, though, I'm willing to become a passionate advocate for the quiche Champagne.

Posted by: cyclopatra on June 29, 2004 11:02 PM

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There is no quiche alsacienne. The Alsatian specialty is called tarte flambée, or flammkuchen.

Posted by: ogmb on June 29, 2004 11:57 PM

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If you added ground beef, you could have a cross-border quiche Hamburger.

Posted by: Linkmeister on June 29, 2004 11:58 PM

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I'm with cyclopatra. When I was in Switzerland, I was amazed to see that they really eat lots of that kind of stuff. I saw rows and rows of Swiss cheese fondue and quiche stuff in the markets. It made me shudder, and I am part Swiss, too, so I can say that.

And how about the US? Quiche V'elveetienne? Quiche Jaques?

No Quiche Champagne, you would have to be a smartass expert to appreciate that. I say Quiche Portier or L'Anchor. There must be a quiche with beer. Beer is more mellow. I read about the results of some beer contest in one of these Bay Area foody magazines, and everything was rated above average! Woah, dude, that sounds OK to me -no stress. So I will try a beer quiche with Jack Cheese and, uh, artichokes(?).

Posted by: jml on June 30, 2004 12:03 AM

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Add cheddar, Brad, and it becomes a flan.

Posted by: nick on June 30, 2004 12:14 AM

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The word you are groping for is "Gruyere". If you're making your quiche with "Swiss cheese", they might be selling you all manner of what have you.

Posted by: dsquared on June 30, 2004 01:55 AM

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There are many different traditional "tartes" in France beside the quiche - "tarte aux poireaux", "tarte a l'oignon", "tarte a l'oseille"...
And the better quiches have neither bacon nor swiss (which is actually technically emmental, or emmenthal, cheese). They have Comte and pork shoulder - and a very small amount of "eau de vie de cerise or prune"

Posted by: Francois on June 30, 2004 02:01 AM

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Go right ahead with the quiche Grand-Bretagne, even under Petey's rules. The provinces in question have been under Hanoverian sovereignty for a couple of centuries now.

Posted by: Doug on June 30, 2004 02:07 AM

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Btw, according to Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", which I regard as definitive (and so does Elizabeth David so there), a "Quiche Lorraine" is made with bacon, eggs, cream, salt and pepper, nutmeg and butter. If you add Gruyere cheese, what you have is a "Quiche Suisse"

Posted by: dsquared on June 30, 2004 02:13 AM

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I hesitate to disagree with someone who has a French name, but to me the use of Emmenthal cheese in a tarte seems fairly mental. French recipes using hard cheese almost always use Gruyere.

Posted by: dsquared on June 30, 2004 02:17 AM

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They do make something quichey southeast of the Rhine, too, in Switzerland, but being as they are Schwyzertüütsch speakers there, they call it "Wehe" or "Weihe".Think of a very thin quiche with a pie-type crust and an egg-based filling, then add cheese (Käsewehe), sausage (Cervela-Wehe [sp?]), plums (Zwetschke-Wehe), or my grandmothers favorite and triumph, onions, (Bölle-Wehe).

Since Switzerland is half-way between France and Italy, it's sort of halfway between quiche and pizza.

Emmenthaler or Gruyere? Hey, there are many more Swiss cheeses than that, just like in France!

Posted by: PQuincy on June 30, 2004 05:13 AM

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angleterre surely.

Posted by: old ari on June 30, 2004 05:30 AM

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Let me agree with dsquared that Gruyere is the best cheese for making quiche Lorraine, and that Emmenthaler belongs on top of onion soup...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on June 30, 2004 05:55 AM

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*mutter* *mutter* *fancy-speaking mmmsd;jflaj*

I ate refrigerator pies for years and years. Then I went to a semi-fancy restaurant and a friend ordered a keesh, but got a rather plain refrigerator pie with just some cheese and a sprinkle of bacon.

Quite seriously, the milk-and-cheese mix (properly eggs and cream which is called a royale) will bind darn near anything when baked, and by itself it's got the texture and strength of flavor for which tofu is known.

So throw some things together - assuming you like their taste - and pour the royale and bake. Who knows, you might find you like blue cheese, apples and walnuts as the base.

Posted by: Kirk_Spencer on June 30, 2004 05:56 AM

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I don't know about a beer quiche but if you're looking for something to fill the beer/cheese niche I suggest finding Beard's recipe for Welsh Rarebit.

Essentially you make a standard rue and make a sauce using beer as the liquid with a nice tasty cheese and mustard to spice it. Makes a great spread for your roast beef sandwich or on nachos.

Posted by: Iain Babeu on June 30, 2004 06:21 AM

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According to Joachim du Bellay [French Renaissance poet, ca. 1550], if the the people of Burgundy made quiche it would have mustard in it, because they used mustard with everything. Also, the Swiss drink too much.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson on June 30, 2004 06:43 AM

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But when I make quiche Lorraine it does have mustard in it...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on June 30, 2004 06:44 AM

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I'm afraid Elizabeth David (whom dsquared mentioned above) would object to your wife using cheddar. From an article, "Quiche Lorraine", in the Tatler in September 1985, reprinted by Jill Norman in Is There A Nutmeg In The House?:

"It was in the classroms of upper-crust English cookery schools of twenty years ago that the ex-debs of the time learned to make great thick open pies crammed with asparagus tips, prawns, mushrooms, crab-meat, olives, chunks of ham, all embedded in custard as often as not solidified with cheese. In directors' dining-rooms and later in expensive delicatessens and in the new-style London wine bars they dubbed these creations 'quiches.' It was libel really, but the British have never been too particular in these matters. As far as imported foreign specialties are concerned it's the name they fancy, the substance isn't of much account. It's not difficult to see why the girls picked on these hefty pies as their pièces de resistance and called them quiches. The name is catchy and they hadn't been taught what the real thing was."

"The Constance Spry quiche lorraine recipe published in the Cordon Bleu cookery school bible in 1956 has cheese and onions in it: a young girl I know attending classes given by a respected Kensington teacher circa 1960 was taught to make quiches with a filling of evaporated milk and processed cheddar; so when the time came the young women who graduated into the genteeler areas of catering found that they could get away with putting anything into a pastry shell and calling it a quiche."
[. . .]
"Mrs. Child and her collaborators had provided a sound enough recipe--classic they called it--for quiche lorraine, its filling just eggs, cream and bacon. No cheese they emphasised. [. . .] I had published recipes for the regional quiche lorraine which didn't call for cheese. What the catering girls went for was the licence provided by Mrs. Child to print the word quiche in connection with any and every kind of open-faced tart--if that's the only alternative description one sees why it was discarded--filled with any one of fifty-seven different combinations of fish, fowl, vegetable, cured pork and cheese."

But read the whole thing.

Posted by: jam on June 30, 2004 06:48 AM

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You and Ms. BDeL shouldn't fret about this - a quiche is a savory custard tart, and if what you throw into it doesn't have a name in the formal French canon, that's tough. I am sure many a bonne femme in La France profonde put whatever she damn well had available into the egg+milk/cream mixture, baked it lovingly, and served it forth to great praise. Thought, care, and love (with a little good technique) conquer these categories.
Eat well, buddy!
(and thanks for every word of the blogging!)
Greg

Posted by: grishaxxx on June 30, 2004 07:05 AM

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At the time of du Bellay, Burgundy was a major power, or almost, and included most of Lorraine. Under Attila the Hun, of course, Burgundy was Krautish.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson on June 30, 2004 07:40 AM

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Does it really matter what food is called? I mean, unless you need to order it in a restaurant or index it in a recipe book, the name of the dish is so inconsequential as to be worth dismissing altogether.

I consider myself to be a jazz cook: I start off with a vague idea and a few ingredients, then combine and cook in whatever way seems most intuitive. No recipes, no timer. (I'll grant you this works best when the wife and kid are away, since I don't usually know when things are ready to eat until about two minutes before serving.) The other night I made a concoction of sliced chicken sizzled in an iron skillet with onions, garlic, green peppers, oregano and basil served over orzo mixed with chopped black olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Does this dish have a name? Does it need a name? All I know is that it was the best meal I've had in months.

Seriously, throw out your recipes. Renounce your names. Just cook.

Posted by: jlw on June 30, 2004 08:01 AM

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I mean "Krautische" of course.

My main recipe is called "glop". It has many variations, and sometimes I am the only person in the world who has the guts to eat it.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson on June 30, 2004 08:23 AM

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Another way to fill the cheese-beer niche is to make soup. Make a good vegetable and stew meat soup and add a couple bottles of port while it is cooking (and a fair amount of pepper too.) Grate jack cheese and/or cheddar into a bowl until it's about half full, then ladle in the soup on top of the cheese. Serve with a thick slice of bread, buttered, and another couple bottles of beer.

Posted by: Jeremy Osner on June 30, 2004 08:29 AM

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few comments:
-quiche Ardenaise
-quiche Bourguignonne instead of quiche Burgogne, who should be spelled Bourgogne anyway.
-quiche Champenoise instead of quiche Champagne.
It is confusing because Lorraine is both the substantive and the adjective, but Alsace-Alsacienne, Ardennes-Ardennaise etc.

And then, big mistake: Quiche Suisse. Switzerland is this small country that is very proud of its differences, and what you call swiss cheese in the recipe would make any Swiss cringe (first, because it is manufactured in Wisconsin, second, because it hardly looks (and definitely does not taste) like some cheese made in the region of Valais, near the city of Gruyere.

To make a comparison, naming a quiche suisse is similar to calling the (4 official) languages they speak the Swiss language.

Posted by: Meredith Brody on June 30, 2004 09:33 AM

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Let me add to my previous comment another precision: quiche anglaise would be the correct for quiche GrandE-Bretagne.
As much as I nitpick about the correct use of the French language, I do appreciate your trying.

Posted by: Meredith Brody Not on June 30, 2004 09:38 AM

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How about "egg pie"? (I thought I made it up, but Google turns up numerous references.) This occurred to me as I was reminded of an old Simpsons episode:

Moe: "The GARAGE" Hey, fellas, "the GARAGE". Well, oh-la-di-da, Mr. Frenchman.
Homer: What do you call it?
Moe: A carhole.
http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/GuidePageServlet/showid-146/epid-1411/

Posted by: Paul Callahan on June 30, 2004 10:16 AM

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Brad, I think that one day u'll get the Nobel!
Go, go Brad go!

Posted by: El Gringo on June 30, 2004 10:19 AM

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in alsace, a good part of southern germany and in a big part of switzerland north east of the alps we speak a dialect called "allemanisch". Its major writer was Johann Peter Hebel (his the anthem of Basel ( zBasel am mim Rhy, yo do woett is si,waiht nit Luft so lind und lau und dr himmel isch so blau ...). The Schatzkastlein by Hebel was consindered the most important german piece of literature by Kafka (Canetti).

Posted by: Hans Rudolf Suter on June 30, 2004 10:27 AM

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maybe readers should know that there is a valley thru which flows the Emme. That's the Emmental (Tal being valley). And that's where the Emmental cheese came from. "Came" because that's no longer the case. Then there is Gruyere or Greyerz, quite distant in km and taste.

Posted by: Hans Rudolf Suter on June 30, 2004 10:34 AM

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I kinda think that a sweeter beer, like Gordon Biersch's Maerzen would work well in a quicheeque refrigerator egg pie food product, particularly with caramelized onions, diced ham and cheddar. Quiche au Colorado, perhaps?

Posted by: Larry B on June 30, 2004 10:43 AM

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I mean "Krautische" of course.=====

That must be a dance, probably all-male and performed by able-bodied seamen on long voyages. If you're looking for the adjective that would be krautisch.

Posted by: ogmb on June 30, 2004 10:55 AM

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So no recipes for 'Keesh Schwartzinegger'? And after running to the store for ostrich eggs...

Posted by: calmo on June 30, 2004 11:37 AM

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The Burgundian Navy's all-male dances struck terror into the hearts of Etzel's Hunnish hordes, until they realized that Burgundy was land-locked. "Nu muoz ich leider eine / bi minen vianden stan" mourned Dancwart, but by then it was too late, of course.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson on June 30, 2004 11:52 AM

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There is Quiche Ardennaise on the menu at a Belgian cafe called La Petite Abeille in New York.

Posted by: Daniel Lam on June 30, 2004 12:28 PM

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It is obvious that classes are over and Brad, you have way to much time on your hands.

Posted by: Karl on June 30, 2004 12:42 PM

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Sorry I can't help. You see, I don't eat quiche. Need I say why?

Posted by: C.J.Colucci on June 30, 2004 02:09 PM

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And how about the US? Quiche V'elveetienne? Quiche Jaques?

Quiche Whiz, obviously.

Posted by: Felix Deutsch on June 30, 2004 02:44 PM

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bah, quiche. Fix yourself up some niçoise pissaladière (wonderful onion tart). Fantastic. (or if you're lazy, make yourself some niçoise socca)

Posted by: Tecla on June 30, 2004 03:20 PM

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good one Felix --If there was anything that put the brakes on when I went screaming into the kitchen with a hungry-attack, it was The Cheese Whiz. But I survived those 'sandwiches' as a kid. Just barely.

Posted by: calmo on July 1, 2004 07:09 AM

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It must be something in the air. Over at Making LIght we're discussing the best single malt to use in making chocolate truffles.

MKK

Posted by: Mary Kay on July 1, 2004 11:40 AM

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Asparagus, bah vile stuff, made even viler by hiding it in clotted egg soup. My wife really enjoyed her *Spargel* when we last journeyed to the Suddetsch/Ostereich side of the world. The heck with quiche- just live your life in a Viennese cafe- preferably Cafe Demel or Mozart. Eat warm leberkase with some real mustard with zing. a Melangekaffe and some Malakov torte for desert. That is eating. Oh, and read the news and complain about the government and the lousy media that writes the ignorant papers. Sogennant, eh?

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