The other day I was making frittata and was asked what the difference was between frittata and quiche, or any other egg based similar dish. Whilst I thought I knew the difference, I couldn't really articulate it.
Quiche: By definition (LaRousse Gastronomique and The Cooks Book of Everything ) is an open tart filled with a mixture of beaten eggs, creme fraiche and pieces of bacon, served hot as a first course or hors d'oeuvre.
or (a more recent interpretation which better reflects the modern quiche.)
A quiche is a savoury dish originating in the Alsace Lorraine region of France. The classic is quiche Lorraine, an open tart with a pastry base filled with eggs, cream and bacon and served hot or cold, but varitations today can include almost anything, including onion, cheese, fish and herbs.
Frittata is just like an omelette, but flash under the grill to finish off the cookin. The Italian frittata can vary from thin and pancake like to thick with a golden crust and creamy centre. Frittatas can be filled with cheese, vegetables, meat or seafood. And, just like tortillas, they can be eaten warm or cold, or in squares as part of an antipasti plate.
So, lots of similarities, not only technically but in taste too. However, basically, a frittata is Italian and quiche is French. A quiche often has a pastry base, whereas a frittata does not. You are supposed to finish a frittata under the grill when finished cooking and a quiche more commonly has cream as a key ingredient. Which do you make more frequently?
As a little side story, Mum has a friend named Lorraine, and when I was small, I thought quiche Lorraine was named after her, as she did make fantastic quiches. I was rather sad to find out that wasn't the case, as I thought it was fabulous that this honour was bestowed on the thoroughly deserving Lorraine.
So.. tell me readers, Quiche or Frittata?