F for Flammkuchen [ABC of German Food]
French or German? From the Alsace or South Germany? Rectangle or circle? Tarte flambée or Flammkuchen? This are the questions that for years had the two countries fighting for the title of creator of the Flammkuchen.
The Flammkuchen is a bread dough made without yeast, rolled very thin and baked in a wood-fire oven. It is usually topped with crème fraîche, raw onions and bacon, even though there are different topping depending on the region.
France and Germany had been fighting for who actually came up with the recipe for ages. Some say it’s originally from the Alsace-Moselle region in France, others that it’s from Pfalz region and Baden in Germany, other say that it was a group of German farmers that lived in France. No matter who you ask every person will say something different, but if there is one thing that they can all agree about, is that the Flammkuchen is not only delicious, but there is a whole lotta tradition around it.
Originally the Flammkuchen was used to ‘test’ the wood-fire oven before baking the bread. The intense first heat from the oven that could potentially burn bread was the perfect temperature to cook these thin ‘pizza-looking’ breads. A flammkuchen can be done in 2 o 3 minutes slightly burning the sides by the fire. It would also help lower the temperature of the oven to then bake the rest of the breads.
Apparently it was not until the 60’s that this breads made its way to the restaurants. Until then they were usually enjoyed at home. Now a days you can find them anywhere, including supermarkets where they are sold pre cooked and freezed. Besides the traditional bacon and crème fraîche one, there are variations to this bread, including a sweet option with cinnamon, apples and a sweet liqueur, one with Munster cheese, one with mushrooms and a leek and onion one.
On a ‘type’ note:
Futura Black is a sans-serif font that was design by Paul Renner at the Bauhaus in 1936, this is an alternative design to the Futura Family that uses stencil letter forms.