King Charles III has announced that the signature dish of his May 6 coronation is Coronation Quiche, which the royal website describes as a “deep quiche with a crisp, light pastry case and delicate flavours of Spinach, Broad Beans and fresh Tarragon.”
I know this is a lot to process, but please stay calm. Though I am American, I have access to Google, I read Prince Harry’s Spare cover to cover, and I spent a few months living in London 18 years ago, so I am fully qualified to answer all of the burning quiche concerns that are surely running through your mind right now. Let’s begin.
Is this some kind of joke?
Are you sure it’s not a joke? Sometimes I don’t really get British humor either.
Yes. The Brits are known for their dry humor, but I assure you this is not meant to be the least bit funny — not even in the sense that, like, Chekhov is comedy.
Why does the coronation even have an official dish?
Special foods for royal events are a thing, and Coronation Chicken (basically chicken salad with curry) became a British staple after it was served at Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation.
Britons are encouraged to gather with friends and neighbors for a “Big Lunch” on coronation weekend, and the quiche is the suggested culinary centerpiece for these parties.
But isn’t quiche, like, French or something?
Oui. It’s considered a classic French dish, but it originated in Germany. Either way, it definitely doesn’t scream “Britain.”
So why did they go with this quiche?
Charles and Camilla selected the quiche along with the royal chef, Mark Flanagan, according to The Guardian, “because it is a good sharing dish, can be served hot or cold, suits a variety of dietary requirements and preference, can be adapted, and is not too complicated or costly to make.”
Also, Charles is an egg man.
Darren McGrady, former chef to the royal family, tweeted that he’s made quiche for Charles many times.
Didn’t King Charles have a problem with people throwing eggs at him?
Does the official recipe call for salmon caught in the River Dee?
No, but if you have some lying around, you could swap it in for the beans.
Okay, what’s the recipe?
Here are the ingredients. The full recipe is posted on the royal website.
125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
25g cold butter, diced
2 tablespoons milk
Or 1 x 250g block of ready-made shortcrust pastry
175ml double cream
2 medium eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper
100g grated cheddar cheese,
180g cooked spinach, lightly chopped
60g cooked broad beans or soya beans
What are broad beans?
They’re just fava beans that are trying to deceive you.
Are beans a common quiche filling?
Not to my knowledge. My guess is that the lack of meat in the quiche is a nod to Britain’s cost-of-living crisis and vegetarians. (Charles is reportedly “part vegan.”) But then they inexplicably used lard in the dish.
Does it look appetizing while you’re making it?
No. Here’s a video of the quiche being prepared in a royal kitchen.
Okay, but it looks better when it’s done, right?
Absolutely not. Somehow this shot of a dry, grayish Coronation Quiche is the best photo they could find for Westminster Abbey’s official Twitter feed.
Does it taste good?
Reviews have been mixed. Chef Prue Leith of The Great British Bake Off pronounced it “absolutely delicious,” adding, “There was no soggy bottom, the custard was not overcooked and dry, and the balance of tarragon was perfect — a really good quiche.”
But the Coronation Quiche she sampled was presented to her by Prince Edward, the king’s brother, at a Westminster Abbey garden party, so she was under pressure to give a rave review.
BBC News presenter Declan Harvey was considerably less enthusiastic.
And reviews among staffers at the U.K. tabloid Metro ranged from “inoffensive” to “the food equivalent of getting caught in a grey, April drizzle: cold, unpleasant and out-of-place” to “my first thought was to puke.”
Have you tried making it yourself?
But aren’t you curious?
No, life is short, and this quiche sounds gross.
Are actual British people making Coronation Quiche?
It does not appear so. The Times of London reported that while Brits have been buying more party foods this week, they aren’t loading up on broad beans and tarragon. “No supermarket has reported an increase in demand for the ingredients,” according to the paper.
So I don’t have to eat this while I’m watching the coronation?
Oh God, no. Just fix yourself a nice cup of tea and you’ll be set. I like Harney & Sons (which makes a special coronation blend), but actual British person Florence Pugh says you should use Yorkshire Gold. I’ll tell King Charles his quiche is gross, but I’m not going to argue with Miss Flo.
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