Less than three weeks to go for his coronation, King Charles III has unintentionally divided his entire nation, even more so than his Royal household. He has done this by innocuously choosing quiche as the signature dish for the most memorable day in his life.
His announcement has taken the entire nation by surprise prompting everyone from Michelin chefs to casual cooks, culinary consultants to cookery columnists to air their opinion. Egged on by this, keyboard warriors on social media have scrambled to share their views.
The coronation quiche will be the centrepiece of celebration lunches by community groups and street parties across the country. The dish including spinach, broad beans, tarragon and cheddar cheese, in a shell of shortcut pastry, was personally chosen by Charles and Camilla for its affordability and ease of sharing, reflecting the King’s love of gardening and cheesy baked eggs.
The selection of a low-cost dish is more reflective of the current British economy and (a frugal?) Charles’s desire to trim things down, like booting out freeloaders Andrews and Harry from the Royal estate. (Forget about him being richer than his wealthy mum.)
According to royal head chef Mark Flanagan, creator of the “coronation quiche,” it can be served hot or cold.
So is the reception for this recipe unlike Queen Elizabeth’s 1953 coronation dish Poulet reine Elizabeth, in high-sounding French.
Known in plain English as ‘coronation chicken,’ it combined mild curry powder, tomato paste, red wine and whipped cream, giving an Indian flavour and becoming a popular sandwich filling ever since. It was credited to British food writer and high-society florist Constance Spry and founder of Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.
As it may be a hard act for Charles to follow his mother’s popular reign of 70-plus years, his quiche also seems to struggle to curry favour with the public unlike his mum’s curried chicken dish.
Announcing the coronation dish, the Royal website gave the full list of ingredients and detailed method of preparation. The inclusion of beans, some foodies commented, would make it squishy. Maybe the new King wants to show he is full of beans, or indicating the next coronation dish could be baked beans in line with the slowing English economy amid ten percent inflation. After all baked beans was also a favourite dish of spin king Shane Warne. One cricket tragic commented that it gave Shane the benefit of wind behind him.
“Why quiche, a French dish?” queried another social media scribe, remembering that Charles’s first overseas royal visit, to France, had to be cancelled. Another uncharitable commentator said now the King can say “Let them eat quiche”, a la French Queen Marie Antoinette.
One politician said this no-meat dish was a politically correct choice to appease the diversity of the population. To be fair, some food writers have commented on its healthy aspects.
The signature coronation dish will be a vegetarian quiche. Oh dear, it feels like an austerity dish, not a celebration!
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) April 18, 2023
Charles’s love for egg and cheese is well known. However many are cheesed off by the selection of a dish based on egg. Choosing such an item at a time when there is an egg shortage is like walking on eggshells. And let’s not even talk of the (pig?) lard in that pastry.
Conspiracy theorists, true to their form, believe Charles has an ulterior motive in selecting an egg-based dish. Having a few eggs thrown at him during his first royal romp in York last year, he wants all available eggs used up in the coronation quiche, thus making it unavailable for grumpy anti-monarchists.
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