Flammekueche – or, as it is known in French, ‘Tarte Flambée’, is one of the most famous specialities of the Alsace region and a firm Bellanger favourite. Here, we take a look at how this traditional dish came to be and how it is best enjoyed in the restaurant today.
The Flambée first came into being when farmers in Alsace baked their bread just once a week. While their wood-fired ovens were still too hot for doing so, the farmers would take a piece of dough, thinly roll it out and bake this first. In less than a minute, the tarte emerged blistered around the edges yet still supple, providing a simple midday meal. As time went on, they began to add fromage blanc, onions and smoked bacon (ingredients they had to hand all year round) before baking, and this is what is now referred to as the original recipe.
These days, there are many variations on how Tarte Flambées are garnished. At Bellanger we are proud to offer four varieties - an original 'Alscacienne', a 'Champignons et Fines Herbes', a 'Munster et Echalotes', and a 'Chèvre, Miel et Thym'.
Our Head Chef notes, "The Tarte Flambée is one of our most popular dishes - freshly baked in a stone-based oven at 350 degrees and served on a wooden board. It is a dish perfectly suited to any occasion, from a tear-and-share celebration among friends and family, to the single diner enjoying a glass of beer on the Terrace or at the Bar."
In agreement with pairing this dish with an Alsacienne beer is C&K Bar Manager, Wilson Shawyer, adding "the Flambée enhances the flavour profile of the beer, especially one such as a Meteor Blonde."
And as for wine? "A vibrant white, such as Bourgogne Aligoté. This wine from Burgundy is often overlooked for its rival, Chardonnay, but its perfect liveliness and citrus notes stand up well against the saltiness you will find in the bacon of the Alsacienne or the Goats Cheese alternative."
Offered throughout the year, either as a simple main with a green salad or as a moreish starter, and whether enjoyed alone or devoured with friends, this traditional Alsacienne dish of humble origin is, in our opinion, here to stay.