Alsace 101: The History of Tarte Flambée
July 23, 2018
Ask anyone from France and they’d say Italy has nothing over Alsace when it comes to pizza. Of course, it’s the Alsace interpretation of that: a cheese, onion and bacon-topped flatbread called Tarte Flambée, or flammekueche, meaning “pie baked in the flames” in the Alsatian dialect.
A specialty from around Strasbourg and northward, tarte flambée has humble origins in the Bas Rhin made in a wood-burning oven, as hearty sustenance for peasants. It wasn’t until the 19th century that local innkeepers caught on and offered it to the public, who gobbled it up.
Today, nearly every village in the region boasts an oven for making tarte flambée, using local white cheese (Alsace is famed for its muenster), smoked bacon bits and sweet caramelized onions all atop a crème fraîche sauce.
Eat it with your fingers and drink it with Domaine Ostertag Pinot Gris Barriques 2013.