An omelette also spelled omelet is a dish made from beaten eggs.
Eggs are often beaten with a small amount of milk, cream, or water.
They are cooked with butter or oil in a frying pan (without stirring as in scrambled eggs).
It is quite common for the omelette to be folded around fillings such as cheese, finely chopped herbs, vegetables, mushrooms, oysters, meat (often ham or bacon)…
A standard omelette is cooked in butter on medium heat, is supposed to be golden brown or yellow on the outside and soft in the inside.
Omelets are usually eaten at breakfast. However omelettes can be eaten as a light lunch or late evening meal.
There are many different types of omelette, often with different names, depending on what is used as a filling.
The Omelette de la mère Poulard (Omelette of Mother Poulard) is an omelette developed by Anne Boutiaut Poulard, also known as Mother Poulard, in the 19th century in Mont-Saint-Michel, France. It is served at La Mère Poulard, her restaurant there, and at many other restaurants on the small island. It has been described as the most famous omelette in the world and, along with the Mont Saint Michel Abbey, is one of the major tourist attractions in Mont-Saint-Michel, the island itself being the second most-visited tourist destination in France after Paris.
Denver omelette, also called western omelette, an omelette with ham, onion, and bell pepper – cheese is sometimes included. Historians have speculated that the dish was originally served on bread as a sandwich, created by 19th-century cattle drivers in the American West or by Chinese railroad cooks as a sort of transportable egg foo yong. At some point a breadless version was developed, and it became known as the Denver (or western) omelette. The sandwich variety, called a Denver (or western) sandwich, is still common.
Hangtown fry is a type of omelette made famous during the California Gold Rush in the 1850s. The most common version includes bacon and oysters combined with eggs, and fried together.
An egg white omelette is a variation which omits the yolks to remove fat and cholesterol, which reside exclusively in the yolk portion of an egg.
Tamagoyaki is a type of Japanese omelette, which is made by rolling together several layers of cooked egg. It is made by combining eggs, and sometimes sugar or soy sauce. Additionally, sake and mirin are used in some recipes. It is often prepared in a rectangular omelette pan called a makiyakinabe or tamagoyakiki.
Sweet omelettes for dessert can be made in the same way as savoury omelettes of the basic type, but more often they are the fluffy kind and are known as soufflé omelettes.
The earliest omelettes are believed to have originated in ancient Persia.
According to Alan Davidson, the French word “omelette” came into use during the mid-16th century, but the versions alumelle and alumete are employed by the Ménagier de Paris in 1393. Rabelais mentions an homelaicte d’oeufs, Olivier de Serres an amelette, François Pierre La Varenne’s Le cuisinier françois (1651) has aumelette, and the modern omelette appears in Cuisine bourgeoise (1784).
According to the founding legend of the annual giant Easter omelette of Bessières, Haute-Garonne, when Napoleon Bonaparte and his army were traveling through southern France, they decided to rest for the night near the town of Bessières. Napoleon feasted on an omelette prepared by a local innkeeper, and thought it was a culinary delight. He then ordered the townspeople to gather all the eggs in the village and to prepare a huge omelette for his army the next day.
The largest omelette weighed 6.466 tonnes (14,225 lb 6 oz) and was achieved by the Câmara Municipal de Ferreira do Zêzere (Ferreira do Zêzere City Council, Portugal) in Santarém, Portugal, on 11 August 2012. It took a team of 55 people 6 hours to make this omelette, all led by a head chef, Pedro Mendes. A 4,290-kg pan was used, with a 10.3-metre diameter. In kilograms, the weight of the omelette totalled 6,466 kgs. For this attempt, the omelette used 145,000 eggs, 880 lbs of oil and 220 lbs of butter.
The most expensive omelette commercially available is the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata which costs $1,000 (£528.90) and is featured on the menu at Norma’s restaurant, Le Parker Meridien Hotel, New York, USA. The frittata contains 10 oz (280 g) caviar and approximately 1 lb (0.45 kg) lobster which is covered with egg on a bed of fried potatoes. Le Parker Meridien also feature a smaller, less expensive version called the ‘regular frittata’ that costs $100 (£54).