If you think flambé is when the head waiter brings a wagon to your table, makes a lot of flamboyant gestures with bottles and a copper pan then sets your dessert on fire... well, you're right most of the time.
But in Strasbourg, and within a 30-mile radius, its something quite different and a very local speciality.
The name refers to the flaming logs heating the oven before bread baking. You cant bake bread until the whole interior of the oven, brick lining included, is thoroughly saturated with heat. And that takes time.
The secret of the flambé (Flammkuchen on the German side of the Rhine) is that with its ultra thin crust it can cook quickly and so make use of the oven early in its heat-up period. Similar to a very thin pizza, the flambé crust is usually spread with sour cream, then a variety of toppings whatever you fancy or whatever youve got to hand.
To make it at home, start with bread yeast dough and roll it out incredibly unbelievably thin. I bake mine on a non-stick tray which I cover lightly with olive oil first. Spread the rolled dough with sour cream, put the toppings on, then leave to rest in a warm draught-free place for a couple of hours. Bake in a hot oven for about 15 mins.