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Not all pies are for dessert! There are a host of other kinds of pies that are ideal as a main course, including quiche, a versatile savory pie that has become a favorite world over, despite its decidedly French moniker.

Quiche was always a favorite food in some cultures but it rose to popularity in the U.S. in the early 1980s when author Bruce Feirstein wrote the book “Read Men Don’t Eat Quiche”, which tagged this delicious egg dish as a feminine food, unfit for a manly appetite. From the book came the derogatory term “quiche eater”, which would come to refer to a man that lack’s masculine virtues.

What Feirstein didn’t know, however, is that his book would cultivate a new interest in this wonderful food, which is suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Following the release of his book, quiche started appearing more and more on restaurant menus and on kitchen tables across the U.S.

Add to that the fact that quiche isn’t at all difficult to prepare or cook and you have a pie that delicious, nutritious, and quick.

History of Quiche

Due to its French name, you may suspect that quiche hails from the land of the Eiffel Tower. However, records indicate that quiche originated during the medieval time period in the kingdom of Lothringen, an area under German rule that later became the French region known as Lorraine. The word “quiche” originates from the German word “kuchen”, which means cake. Due to language differences, the word was then altered to “kische” and later changed to the now traditional French spelling.

The first quiche, of course, was Quiche Lorraine, which includes a pie crust filled with an egg and cream custard base enhanced with the addition of smoky bacon, which was a very German food. When the first quiches were made, chances are that the crust was made of bread dough, not flaky pie crust. Early quiche was also probably not cooked in a pie plate put in a cast iron pan.

Quiche came to England sometime after World War II and began appearing on U.S. menus in the 1950s, though quiche was definitely not a household word during that time period. It was popular in “fancy” restaurants and perhaps attempted by the most adventurous of homemakers. Nonetheless, it remained rather obscure until the 1980s.

Basic Quiche

The basic quiche recipe simply includes a half-dozen eggs, about a cup of milk, and a cup or so of shredded cheese in any variety you wish. It can be seasoned with salt and pepper (or another herb or seasoning) as well. The eggs, milk, and seasonings are mixed together until well-blended, then the cheese is added and the mixture is poured into an 8” pie crust. Many cooks use a pre-made pie crust, which adds to the quick pace at which this recipe can be made. The pie cooks for about 30 to 40 minutes and should be served hot or warm, but many people enjoy it cold as well.

Types of Quiche

Quiche is one of those foods that can be eaten literally any time of the day. It is considered ideal for breakfast, especially when made with cheese and some sort of breakfast meat. Paired with a salad, it’s also the ideal lunch or dinner. And because it may contain vegetables as well, it’s often considered an all-in-one meal as it features foods from several of the food groups all in one slice of quiche. Some examples of common quiche recipes include:

o Ham and Cheese Quiche – Made with chopped ham and your favorite kind of cheese, often Swiss. You can also use bacon or sausage instead of ham.

o Broccoli and Cheese Quiche – Made with cooked broccoli, mushrooms, and cheddar or Swiss cheese, this is a great recipe for lunch.

o Crab Quiche – This seafood quiche usually contains lump crab meat, Swiss cheese, shallots or onions, and a dash of nutmeg.

o Spinach Quiche – Pair frozen, thawed spinach with a few different kinds of cheeses.

o Chicken Dijon Quiche – Includes cooked chicken, mushrooms, shredded Swiss, and a touch of Dijon mustard for a bit of a tangy flavor.

o Pizza Quiche – A kid-friendly favorite, this one includes shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, pieces of pepperoni, and dried Italian seasonings. Serve it with a bowl of pizza sauce for dipping.