This month, we are sending out a bacon and Swiss quiche recipe with our ButcherBoxes. (You can only get it if you are a subscriber.)
Not only is the recipe delicious, but the dish itself is a veritable opera of European appropriation. I mean, the word ‘quiche’ carries with it the assumption that it is a culinary dish derived from some famous French culinary experiment.
As our ButcherBox chef, Yankel Polak explained, “Quiche itself has a pretty extensive history, with recorded dishes going back to the 12th century. Although back then, it went under a different name. “
Quiche, you see, is actually believed to have originated in Germany. According to foodreference.com, the savory breakfast dish was first concocted in the medieval German kingdom of Lotharingia, which stretched across France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Netherlands. The area where the dish is believed to have derived was called Lothringen in German — it was a German kingdom at the time— but was later annexed by France and renamed Lorraine. The word ‘quiche’ itself comes from the German word for cake, ‘Kuchen.’
According to history, the original ‘quiche Lorraine,’ as it is called, was “an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard with smoked bacon. It was only later that cheese was added to the quiche Lorraine.”
The breakfast pie did gain popularity in France over a long period of time; however, it really grew in esteem in the US during the 80’s and 90’s, as a way to prepare breakfast ahead of time.
According to Chef Yankel, it was “traditionally made in a more delicate version, similar to a tart, but we are most familiar with it as a brunch item in pie form. “
The ButcherBox quiche story does not end there.
“Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with eggs,” said Chef Yankel.
“I was an egg cook for some time at Eastern Standard, working brunch two days a week. During each shift I would cook at least 150 omelets to order — and we could not serve an omelet if it had even a tiny bit of brown on it — and also do 200 to 300 orders of eggs any style,” he elaborated. “I’d end each shift covered in eggs.”
And for Yankel and his team, quiche became the balm. “Quiche became one of those pre-made items we could serve to take some of the heat off my station.”
“So while I’m really freaking good at cooking a ton of eggs at the same time, and I totally enjoy eating them and using them whenever possible, the combination of eggs and brunch is one of those nightmarish experiences anyone who’s put some time into the service industry is familiar with.”
But rest assured, our delicious quiche recipe, with our amazing heritage-breed pork bacon, pays the proper homage to the historical origins of the dish. (And it comes free with your first ButcherBox when you sign up for a subscription.)
Plus, it’s easy to make.
“Quiche is a set-it-and-forget-it kind of dish, really simple to put together, and easy to cook well,” said Chef Yankel. “It has a great shelf life in the fridge and is totally customizable in terms of what you want to flavor it with.”
Oh, and it will definitely be a popular option if you are serving brunch, for both your guests and the chef.