Coronation quiche: everything you need to know about King Charles' favourite tart

It’s as divisive as the Royal family.

Published 19th Apr 2023
Updated 19 th Apr 2023

In common with coriander, bubble tea and offal, quiche makes some people squeamish. The main gripe is that it’s too ‘eggy’.

Despite this, King Charles and Camilla have chosen a spinach, broad bean and tarragon version as the official dish to celebrate the coronation on Saturday May 6.

It was created in collaboration with their chef Mark Flanagan, and the recipe is available on The Royal Family’s website. Let’s just say, you better stock up on double cream, lard and those eggs.

What is a quiche anyway?

It’s a shortcrust pastry tart that’s filled with savoury custard and can be adapted using various vegetables, herbs and meat. Although considered a French dish, its origins date back to Germany and the name may come from the German word ‘kuchen’, which means cake or tart.

Why did the Royals choose it?

They opted for this dish as it’s easy to share and make, and can be served hot or cold. Also, we think that, unless you don’t realise that the 1982 book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche by Bruce Feirstein is satirical, there’s nothing contentious about quiche. It’s traditional, wholesome and humble, yet a slice will fill you up after a game of polo. When it comes to this regal recipe, Charles has always been into his environmental stuff, and the ingredients are relatively seasonal. Unfortunately, the broad bean addition will probably make for a weird texture. Thus, we can’t see this creation becoming as ubiquitous as the coronation chicken (originally called poulet reine Elizabeth) that was created for the Queen’s 1953 event. 

Is there such thing as a Scottish quiche?

Sadly, the quiche Lorraine, with its lardon and cheese ingredients, isn’t named after Lorraine Kelly, but its place of origin in France. Talking of that version, The B-52s wrote a song about quiche Lorraine, in which they rhymed it with great Dane, and it also appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief (1955). It was this director’s favourite breakfastdish. Anyway, we digress.

Recently, we have experienced a quiche that had been baked in a Scotch pie case, currently available in Wooleys on the Isle of Arran. It was the definition of a guilty pleasure. Also, we think haggis in a quiche is totally permissible, while Scottish salmon is a shoe-in.

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Where can you find them?

Apart from every major supermarket, the spiritual home of quiche has to be the art gallery, farm, museum or garden centre cafe. However, tracking down a slice can be tricky, as they’re not as fashionable as they were in their heyday of the Seventies and Eighties, when Delia was knocking them out faster than you could say ‘give us a quiche’. In Edinburgh, we love La Barantine’s hefty individual quiches and Fox & Co’s versions, and we rate Singl-end in Glasgow. We’ve also been tipped off about a version at Carlyle House Cafe in Haddington. McAskie’s Butcher in Renfrewshire is said to do a goodie.

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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