The Lowdown: flammekueche

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Lowdown: flammekueche
A restaurant specialising in Alsatian pizza is billed as being the only restaurant of its ilk in the UK when it launches in August.

Come again?
Flammekeuche. An East Anglia-based chef and his son are launching a restaurant in Cambridge called Amelie, that will specialise in the French-German delicacy, flammekeu... 

You need to translate that.
Sorry. It is a type of Alsatian pizza, which isn’t as weird as it sounds and no dogs are harmed in its making… Hailing from Alsace, flammekueche (which means ‘flame cake’ in German) was created by bakers to test the oven temperature for their bread. A thinly stretched piece of dough would ideally bake in a few minutes, leaving the edges crispy and charred.

Let me guess: that forms the pizza base? That’s not new.
The key difference between the pizzas we’re used to seeing in the UK and the flammekueche is that it will be topped with fromage blanc or crème fraiche as opposed to a tomato pizza sauce. Traditional toppings include thinly sliced onions and lardons, but Amelie will offer more contemporary options including beetroot, goats cheese and honey; parma ham; and (for the millennials, presumably) avocado and salmon; and pulled pork.

Do we really need another niche take on a pizza?
We think that this venture might be worth your while. It is the brainchild of Regis Crepy, who has a strong industry background having owned three successful Suffolk restaurants including Great House in Lavenham. He was there for 32 years and made a name for the place for its fine cuisine, and will now open Amelie with his son Alex, who takes his experience from a role as managing partner of Gaucho Group. Crepy sr. will be sourcing top ingredients from the local suppliers he has built relationships with over the years.

I think I might miss the tomato, though.
You say that, but white pizzas are everywhere in Italy, and there are much more unusual takes on the classic out there.   Alan Yau — creator of Wagamama, Hakkassan, Yauatcha, Duck and Rice and Park Chinois— opened Yamabahçe​ in September of last year. The Turkish boat-shaped pizzas are topped with the likes of diced beef and Turkisj green pepper; spicy Turkish sausage, vine tomato, Turkish rocket and Fontina cheese; and corned beef with egg.

So, no ham and pineapple, then?
Not here, no. Might we suggest The Lebanese Bakery, which made its way from Beirut to London via brothers Samer and Bassam Chamou. It serves Manousheh, which is a Lebanese flatbread, cooked in an Arabic basalt rock oven and topped with the likes of za’atar, cheese and chopped tomato, as well as a breakfast option that comes with an egg.

So far, so normal.
Okay, what about Neil Rankin’s new pizza-centric iteration of Temper might not pertain to any particular nationality’s style of pizza, but the ‘K-Whole’ deep pan has a kimchi base, topped with tteok-bokki chewy rice cakes, spring onion, mozzarella, provolone, sesame seeds and ssamjang mayo. That’s pretty unusual, you’ve got to admit.

Fair enough. I’m just surprised you haven’t mentioned Scotland’s take on the dish…
Actually, it might not be available yet, but we have it on good authority that Neil Gill, owner of Gilly’s Fry Bar, will be serving deep fried pizza when he reopens his restaurant in West End this year.

God save our arteries.
Gill says the dish will be “more Neopolitan than Glasweigan”… but at the end of the day, deep fried pizza is deep fried pizza.

I’ll stick to the flammekeuche. 

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