Son nom provient de la coloration des ailes par des bandes noires.
Le flambé est un grand papillon de forme vaguement triangulaire possédant une queue, d'une envergure de 50 à 70 mm (le mâle est plus petit que la femelle) et reconnaissable à ses grands vols planés. Sur un fond blanc à jaune pâle, l'aile antérieure présente six rayures noires disposées en éventail et l'aile postérieure une bordure noire et des lunules marginales bleues ainsi qu'un ocelle anal bleu cerné de noir et surmonté d'un arc orange.
Flambé (/flɒmˈbeɪ/, French: [flɑ̃be]; also spelled flambe) is a cooking procedure in which alcohol is added to a hot pan to create a burst of flames. The word means "flamed" in French.
Flambéing is often associated with tableside presentation of certain liqueur-drenched dishes set aflame, such as Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee, when the alcohol is ignited and results in a flare of blue-tinged flame. However, flambéing is also a step in making coq au vin, and other dishes and sauces, using spirits, before they are brought to the table. By partially burning off the volatile alcohol, flambéing reduces the alcoholic content of the dish while keeping the flavors of the liquor.
Modern flambéing became popular in the 19th century. The English Christmas pudding was served flaming in Charles Dickens' 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol: "the pudding... blazing in half of half-a-quarter of ignited brandy". The most common flambé dish appears to have been sweet omelette with rum or kirsch; for example, Alexis Soyer's 1846 cookbook, The Gastronomic Regenerator, gives a recipe for Omelette au Rhum: "...the moment of going to table pour three glasses of rum round and set it on fire". Ida Joscelyne's book, The Marvellous Little Housekeepers (1880), mentions both rum and kirsch; another recipe appears in A.G. Payne's English cookbook, Choice Dishes at Small Cost, of 1882: "Make a sweet omelet, and heat a tablespoonful of kirsch, by holding a light under the spoon. As soon as the spirit catches fire pour it round the omelet, and serve flaming." Perhaps the most famous flambé dish, Crêpe Suzette, was supposedly invented in 1895 as an accident.
Cognac, rum, or other flavorful liquors that are about 40% alcohol (80 USA proof) are considered ideal for flambé.Wines and beers have too little alcohol and will not flambé. High-alcohol liquors, such as Bacardi 151 or Everclear, are highly flammable and considered too dangerous by professional cooks. Cinnamon is sometimes added not only for flavor but for show, as the powder ignites when added.