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'Coronation Quiche' is not a quiche, say French purists

AFP
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'Coronation Quiche' is not a quiche, say French purists
Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

Britain's palace has unveiled a special vegetarian "quiche" to mark King Charles III's coronation on Saturday, but France's historic 'brotherhood of the Quiche Lorraine' say the festive dish has been mislabelled.

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The palace last month posted the recipe for Coronation Quiche, which in line with the new monarch's environmental concerns contains no meat, instead featuring spinach, broad beans and tarragon.

But in France, connoisseurs say there is only one kind of quiche: quiche lorraine, so named after the northeastern part of the country that it comes from.

It is made with shortcrust pastry, a mixture of eggs and cream with a dash of nutmeg, and small pieces of thick bacon. It does not include any cheese.

Evelyne Muller-Derveaux, president of the Confrérie de la Quiche Lorraine (brotherhood of the Quiche Lorraine), was not impressed with the new British concoction.

"They called it a quiche, but I would rather say it's a savoury tart," she said.

"When you say quiche, you automatically imply it is from the Lorraine region."

The word, which hails from a Lorraine dialect, means "tart", according to France's National Centre for Textual and Lexical Resources.

Muller-Derveaux said this meant that even the French expression "quiche lorraine" was in fact redundant.

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The mother of all quiches first appeared in around 1540, she said.

It was born during the peaceful and prosperous rule of another Charles III, who was duke of Lorraine at the time.

The Quiche Lorraine Guild was recreated in 2015, on the 40th anniversary of the "Fete de la Quiche" in the region's village of Dombasle-sur-Meurthe.

In the past, the celebration included a float parade and the election of "Miss Quiche", but today all that is gone and it does not attract as many visitors, Muller-Derveaux said.

Despite the concerns of the purists, it is common in French boulangeries and supermarkets to see dozens of different types of 'quiche' with ingredients such as spinach, leeks, salmon or cheese. 

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