However you spell it, omelet or omelette, this particular dish is made from a base recipe that includes beaten eggs that are cooked quickly in butter or oil in a frying pan. Sometimes they are folded over once, but other omelets are fancier, being folded over two or more times to hold filling inside. Persy’s Place makes the best omelets in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Common fillings include cheeses, veggies, meats or a combination of all three. The fluffiest omelets use whole eggs or all egg whites, which are beaten with a small measure of cream, milk or water. Some home recipes include baking powder and other ingredients to make the omelets even fluffier, however most are made with just simple egg and dairy ingredients.
The History of Omelets
The word “omelette” was first used in mid-16th century France. However, alternative versions of the word to describe this popular dish appeared as early as 1393, including alumelle and alumete. Most omelettes are cooked for an individual from two to three eggs. Many of the early omelettes were made from six to eight eggs and were designed to feed a family or group. The modern omelette, as we cook and serve it today, first appeared in bourgoise cuisine in 1784.
The “giant Easter omelette of Bessieres” is a French legend that includes the infamous Napoleon Bonaparte. The legend says that Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, when they decided to rest near Bessieres. A local innkeeper prepared an omelette for Napoleon, which he declared a culinary delight. The story goes on to say that Napoleon ordered all of the eggs in the town to be gathered so a huge omelette could be prepared for his entire army the next morning.
The world’s largest omelette was created at a charity event for the Lung Association in Ontario, Canada on May 11, 2002. The omelette weighed a whopping 2.95 tonnes or 2950 kg. The Canadian omelette surpassed the first largest omelette in the record books, which was created in Yokohama, Japan. This omelette was made with 160,000 eggs and measured 1,383 square feet in size.
Cultural Twists on the Omelet
However you spell it or make it, nearly every country, culture and region has its own version of this well-loved dish. Here are some examples of variations seen in omelets around the world:
- China – Popular fillings include oyster or egg foo yung.
- France – Lots of clarified butter is used to prevent sticking, while seasoning is simple, consisting of salt and pepper. Flavoring includes chopped tomato, onion and herbs, such as parsley, chives and tarragon. Served trifold or no-fold, most French omelettes have no color.
- Germany and Austria – The popular Bauernomelette or “farmers omelette” of Germany and Austria includes roasted onions, potatoes and smoked bacon which are cooked in a pan. Beaten eggs are poured over top of the roasted items and cooked until set. Other fillings include mushrooms, herbs and tomatoes.
- Greece – Popular fillings include sauteed veggies, pastas and leftovers. Eggs are used more as a binder than as an outer layer, as seen in other countries. A plate is placed over top of the pan during cooking and then the whole thing is flipped out and onto the plate before being slid back into the pan to cook the other side.
- India – The most common omelette in India is the Masala omelette, which includes a variety of spices that change depending on the region in which it is made. The most common ingredients include chopped onions, green chilis, cumin, tumeric and tumeric which are whisked in with the egg before cooking.
- Iran – Sugar is beaten in with the eggs and are cooked quickly in a frying pan with oil or butter.
- Italy – The frittata is an open-faced omelette that contains fillings such as veggies, cheese and leftover pasta. Cooked slowly in a pan of hot cooking oil, all the ingredients including the filling are mixed with the eggs before cooking.
- Japan – Popular fillings include omurice or fried rice in the omelets served here, along with soy sauce, mirin, bonito flakes and sugar. Cooked in a special frying pan that is rectangular in shape, these omelets are cooked in a very thin layer and are then rolled up quickly with chopsticks to create many light layers.
- Malaysia and Indonesia – A flat, omelet-style dish that is served with rice is known as telur dadar. This dish is made from eggs that are fried in a pan with onions and chiles.
- Morocco – Also known as “tortillas,” the omelets served in this country are similar to the ones served in Spain, but are cooked with fleur de sel and cumin for added seasoning.
- The Netherlands – Another version of the “farmers omelette” is popular in this country. Known as the boerenomelet, this popular dish is made from two to three eggs that are mixed with sauteed mushrooms, onions, potatoes, bell peppers, peas, leeks and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
- Philipines – Popular fillings in this country include savory tastes, such as corned beef, potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Leftovers from the night before are often served in breakfast omelets in the Philipines, such as ground or chopped pork and beef or grilled veggies. Served over garlic fried rice, a favorite topping is banana ketchup.
- Spain – A very thick Spanish omelet that is known as “tortilla de patatas” is served here with fillings such as sliced, sauteed potatoes, sliced onions, cheese, bell peppers and diced ham.
- Thailand – Known in this country as khai chiao, which means oil-fried egg, omelets are deep fried in a wok filled with hot vegetable oil. Served over steamed rice, this dish is traditionally served with Sriracha sauce and a stir-fry of meat and veggies. Another popular version is known as kai yat sai, which means eggs filled with stuffing.
- UK – Very similar to American omelets, they are made of milk, eggs and cheese and are either folded to hold fillings or flipped to cook the other side.
Persy’s Famous 3 Egg Omelets
Persys’ Place, which has locations all throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and eastern Rhode Island, is known for their three egg omelets. Served with a choice of two or three sides, these omelets can be made with difference cheese, which include sharp cheddar, Swiss, American, feta, cheddar jack, cottage or ricotta. The well-known “Persy’s Omelet” is made with all-American cheese, tomato, onion and bacon.
Other favorites made with traditional, local ingredients include the “King of the Sea Omelet,” which is stuffed with a quarter pound of native lobster, asparagus and aged cheddar. it is topped off with a classic Hollandaise sauce. The Portuguese and Spanish influences of the South Coast region are represented in the “Portuguese Chourico Omelet” and the “Spanish Omelet.” If you want to try some of the best omelets in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, head to the Persy’s Place near you.
Over 20 different omelets are offered at Persy’s Place, which can all be cooked in a number of different ways with a choice of cheese, Cholesterol-Free, Fat-Free Egg Beaters and more fillings that you can imagine. From the “Homsteader,” which is filled with meatloaf, tomato and cheddar jack cheese, to the “Hashlet,” which is stuffed with Persy’s World Famous “New England’s Best” 4-hour corned beef hash, there’s a little something for everyone. You can even build your own omelet using any and all of the ingredients listed on the omelet menu.