The flammekuche, often called by the French is a traditional Alsatian dish composed of thin bread dough covered with thick cream and cheese, topped with bacon, onions, sliced and cooked quickly in a hot oven.
In the dialect spoken in Alsace, flammekueche means ”cooked in the flames”; the French flambee has a similar meaning. One of my dear customers described it like this: “If a pizza and a crepe had a baby, it would be a tarte flambee!” Whatever it’s called, tarte flambee is to northern Alsace what pizza is to southern Italy.
It starts with bread dough rolled out fine as a crepe. This dough is spread with creme fraiche, a thick soured cream mixed with a delicate fresh white cheese called fromage blanc. It is seasoned with salt and pepper, and then thinly sliced white onions and bacon cut like matchsticks go on top.
The heat in the oven is so intense that in less than few minutes the tarte emerges still crispy, yet blistered at the edges, with the topping of cream and cheese the color of old ivory. Tarte flambee originated with peasants of the Bas Rhin, and is a specialty in the area from Strasbourg, Alsace.
It began to get popular some 40 years ago, and now every village on the outskirts of Strasbourg seems to have one, if not two or three, simple restaurants featuring tarte flambee. Many of them are open only on weekends.
On Sundays you will see three and even four generations of one family gathered around a table, the smallest children drawing pictures on the paper tablecloth, while the waitress brings tarte after tarte followed by carafes of young white wine. “Everybody from the high boss to the worker goes to eat tarte flambee”.
in Siem Reap
Flammkuchen or Tarte Flambée (in French) is an ultra-thin, crispy pizza-like snack. Traditionally, bakers in the region between Germany's Black Forest and France's Alsace-Lorraine would use Flamms to test the heat of their brick ovens. How fast the Flamms cooked was an indication of whether or not the ovens were the right temperature for their bread-baking needs. As an added bonus, the staff got to eat the awesomely creamy yet crispy "thermometers" for family meals afterwards.
As with many regional foods, the recipes for the dough, the cream base and the toppings vary from village to village, but after much experimentation and tasting throughout Alsace, we believe we have developed our own winning dough, and the ultimate base and topping combinations. Hint: its all about the quality of the dairy.
French Pizza In
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