What is the Origin and Major Types of Omelets

An Omeletis probably one of the most popular breakfast foods in the world. It is made from eggs and it is common for the Omelet to be folded and have a filling such as vegetables, chives, cheese, ham, bacon, mushrooms or sometimes it could be a combination of all. Sometimes the eggs are mixed with a small amount of cream, milk, or water. Over the years, the Omelet has been a favorite breakfast all over the world and different countries have come out with their own version of Omelet. That’s why in this article, we are going to find out the origins of the Omelet and its different types.

Omelet’s Delicious Beginnings

The name “Omelet” is a French word and it was first used in a French cookbook entitled “Cuisine Bourgeoisie” during the late 17th century. It is attested in the mid-16th century and it is an alteration of the word “amellete”. The change in the vowel of “a” to “o” happened in southern France. But experts say that the dish had been around for awhile before it was even given a name in French cookbooks.

It seems that at some point, Omelets have surfaced in every culture in the world. The Romans were known to use dairy and eggs to create different dishes, the ancient Japanese has their own version of the Omelet and so did the Persians. It seems that different cultures in different parts of the world all discovered beating eggs, pouring them into a heated pan and adding different ingredients such as cheese and ham.

One great story about Omelet was that when Napoleon Bonaparte was traveling with his army through a small town where an innkeeper served him an Omelet. Napoleon liked the dish so much that he had his men collect all the eggs in town and ordered the innkeeper to create one huge Omelet for his army for the next day. Whether or not this actually happened, it sure started the annual festival in the town of Bessieries in Franc where they make a giant Omelet every year for all the townspeople to enjoy.

Tracing the origins of food especially something as universal as the Omelet is not an easy task. Because evidence of its variations can be found in different kinds of ancient cooking books and almost every country in the world has its own variations. And it seems that no one actually knows where Omelets were first invented or by whom. Who knows? It could have been a soldier, housewife, or a master chef. But one thing is for sure, whoever had the idea of beating the eggs and putting different ingredients and spices had no idea how popular his creation would turn out to be.

Different Types of Omelet

  • KhaiChiao – in Thai cuisine, an Omelet is called KhaiChiao, Khai means egg and Chiao means fried. They make KhaiChiao by mixing the fish sauce with the beaten egg and deep fry it in a wok that has 1-2 cups of vegetable oil. After it’s cooked, it is served over steam rice. This Omelet is usually served with cilantro or Sriracha sauce.
  • Tamagoyaki – in Japan, their traditional Omelet is called the Tamagoyaki. It is made by mixing the beaten eggs with bonito flakes, mirin, soy sauce, water, and sugar and it is cooked in a rectangular frying pan. They cook the Tamagoyaki by frying a thin layer of the mixture and rolling it up with a pair of chopsticks to make sausage like shape at the end of the pan. The process is repeated until the mixture has been used up and it results in a cylindrical shape Omelet that has several thin layers.

The Japanese have another variation of the Omelet which is the Omurice. It is an omelet that is filled with rice and it is served with a heaping amount of tomato ketchup.

  • Pora – in Parsi cuisine, they call their OmeletPora. It is made of eggs, tomato, green chilies, coriander leaves, and onion. This is their typical breakfast and they often eat it with Indian tea and bread.
  • Tortilla de Patatas – This is the Spanish variation of the Omelet. They mix the eggs with sliced potatoes that are sautéed in cooking oil. They also sometimes include sliced onions, bell peppers, diced ham, and cheese.
  • Frittata – Frittata is the Italian’s version of the Omelet. They often make it with vegetables, cheese, and sometimes leftover pasta. They cook the Frittata slowly and they make sure that the ingredients are fully mixed with the eggs before they put it in the pan.
  • Nargesi – This is the Iranian style Omelet. They mix the eggs with garlic, fried onions, spinach and season it with salt and pepper.
  • Denver Omelet – This Omelet variation is also known as the Western Omelet or the Southwest Omelet. This version of the Omelet is filled with green bell peppers, cheese, onions, and diced ham. They are often served with fried potatoes or hash browns.
  • Hangtown Fry – This version of the Omelet originated in Placerville, California during the gold rush and it is cooked with bacon and breaded oysters.
  • French Omelet – This Omelet is smoothly cooked in an extremely heated pan that is made especially for Omelets. They use clarified butter that is relatively in ration with the eggs to prevent it from sticking on the pan and enable the egg to cook more quickly. They season it with salt and pepper, flavor it with tomatoes and finely chopped herbs such as parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil.