Prue Leith Defends The Coronation Quiche Against Criticism - Exclusive

British coronations don't happen every day; the last one was when Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1953. It's a big deal when the U.K. gets a new monarch, and the occasion calls for a big party. It's customary to serve a celebratory meal called a Coronation Big Lunch to commemorate the big day. As such, coronations are tied together with food; one of the U.K.'s favorite classic dishes, Coronation Chicken, was invented for Elizabeth II's coronation banquet. The cold curried chicken recipe was originally known as "Poulet Reine Elizabeth."

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort have released several recipe suggestions for the U.K.'s citizens to make for their own Big Lunch celebrations. However, only one is singled out as the event's official dish: Coronation Quiche. The royal family's official recipe for the dish includes broad beans (known as fava beans in the U.S.), spinach, tarragon, and cheese mixed into an eggy custard and baked in a butter and lard-based pastry shell. Reactions to the recipe have been, at best, mixed.

Despite the quiche's negative reception, "The Great American Baking Show" host Prue Leith thinks it's an excellent dish. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, she explained why she thinks the recipe is a good fit for the coronation.

Leith thinks the Coronation Quiche is a great recipe

The quiche has been criticized from a variety of different angles. For some, the addition of beans to the dish is strange. Others believe it's tone-deaf to release an egg-heavy recipe during a time when the U.K. is being affected by an egg shortage. Still others question the inclusion of lard in the pastry recipe when so many people don't eat pork products. There's also debate as to whether or not the dish actually counts as quiche

However, Leith has tried the quiche and pronounced it great. She told us, "The chef at Buckingham Palace has made a recipe for a quiche, which is absolutely delicious." She also defends the quiche against another area of criticism: that it's supposedly not British enough. "Every single supermarket sells quiche and every child goes to school and eats quiche, so it has become British. Britain has always borrowed other people's food, so I don't have a problem with that."

If one of the U.K.'s foremost culinary and baking experts thinks Coronation Quiche is both tasty and thoroughly British, that seems like it should be enough to settle the debate. No matter where you live, you can celebrate the coronation in style with a quiche at the center of your Big Lunch spread.

"The Great American Baking Show" is now streaming on The Roku Channel.