First speciality, Quiche Lorraine
This was created in the 16th century, including three basic elements fundamental to Lorraine cuisine: bacon, cream and eggs, laid on a base of shortcrust or puff pastry. Its world-wide reputation is already established. This apparently-simple dish allows chefs to display all their talents.
Another unmissable speciality, the Potée Lorraine (Lorraine Hotpot)
This is a friendly dish, where natural flavours of regional products, carrots and leeks, combine with those of smoked meats.
In times gone by, the women put the dish on the fire in the morning. Cutting a good piece of streaky bacon or salt ham, they put this in the cast-iron cooking pot. Cold water was added, along with several handfuls of haricot beans, that were allowed to cook for a while before adding smoked sausage.
After that, they gave their imagination full rein, and added all the vegetables they had: an onion, a few turnips, a leek, a bunch of carrots, lots of cabbage, and potatoes to fill the pot
Then they went and worked valiantly in the fields, and the "potée" cooked slowly during this time. It was a fine art to control the fire so that it cooked for a long time, and so that the dish was just ready on their return.
Lorraine Smoked Meat
Lorraine had mastered the art of conserving pork meat from the 17th century - using shallots, onions and salt kept the products fresh after smoking.
Historians recount how, well before the industrial era, "Chaircutiers" in Lorraine had acquired a solid reputation for knowing how to "mayencer" (salt and smoke) ham and sausage.
This fame soon spread beyond the borders of the province, and customers flocked to buy Fuseaux, Magots, Chaudins and other sliced meats.
Lorraine pâté is a culinary speciality originating from Baccarat (the crystal town).
It is reputedly the oldest recipe for a Lorraine speciality, under the name of "petits pâtés lorrains".
It is composed largely of loin of pork and cushion of veal inside a puff pastry case. Its flavour comes from the marinade in which the meat is soaked before cooking, which is made up of wine (red or white depending on the recipe), shallots, parsley, thyme and bay.
It is generally eaten as an hors d'oeuvre, with a light green salad.
Around the 6th December, the Feast of Saint Nicolas is celebrated in Lorraine.
Patron of children and school pupils, Saint-Nicolas rewards good children with gingerbread, while "Père Fouettard" distributes beatings to children who have been naughty. Many parades are organised in the streets of towns and villages in the Meuse.
On this occasion, the gingerbread takes the shape of the Holy Patron, St Nicolas.