Quiche lorraine taste test: should you be a fan of supermarket flan? | Tony Naylor

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The original is all crisp pastry, lardons, cream and eggs. Off-the-shelf versions are often flabby, depressing pretenders, but some can stand proud

Quiche transcends fashion. In 1982 it was being derided as a symbol of masculine confusion in Bruce Feirstein’s Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche. Thirty years later, it would take on a brief online life as a kind of ironic slang for “cute”, thanks to Australian comic Chris Lilley’s TV show, Ja’mie: Private School Girl. But, enduringly – in its periods of popularity and in its phases of quaint naffness – quiche is always with us. It is a key picnic and party food, served at weddings, christenings, family dos and, sadly, funerals, and, therefore, it is exactly the kind of thing you might suddenly find yourself bulk-buying in the supermarket.

Not that native Lorrains would acknowledge the modern mass-produced quiche lorraine. Originally a flan with just smoked bacon, cream and eggs, it was first augmented by Parisians, who started adding gruyère, and later we Brits, who threw in various cheeses. This is not new. Elizabeth David was flagging up this evolution (or sacrilege) in 1962.

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