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Savory French Flan.jpg
CourseMain course or Dessert or Snack
Serving temperatureCold
Main ingredientspastry, custard (sweet flans), vegetables (savoury flans)

A flan, in English and other cuisines, is a dish with an open, rimmed pastry or sponge base containing a sweet or savoury filling. Examples are the quiche lorraine, custard tart, leche flan, and the South African melktert.


Flan is known in Roman cuisine. It was often a savory dish, as in "eel flan"; sweet flans, made with honey and pepper, were also enjoyed.[citation needed]

In the Middle Ages, both sweet and savory flans (almonds, cinnamon & sugar; cheese, curd, spinach, fish) were very popular in Europe, especially during Lent, when meat was forbidden.[1]


The English word "flan", and the earlier forms "flaune" and "flawn", come from the Old French flaon (modern French flan), in turn from the early Medieval Latin fladōn-em, derived from the Old High German flado, a sort of flat cake, probably from an Indo-European root for "flat" or "broad".[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Olver, Lynne. "history notes - puddings". Foodtimeline. Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition (1989); Petit Robert 1973.