In cuisine, an omelette or omelet is a dish made from beaten eggs, fried with butter or oil in a frying pan (without stirring as in scrambled egg). It is quite common for the omelette to be folded around fillings such as cheese, chives, vegetables, mushrooms, meat (often ham or bacon), or some combination of the above. Whole eggs or egg whites are often beaten with a small amount of milk, cream, or water.
The earliest omelettes are believed to have originated in ancient Persia.:65 According to Breakfast: A History, they were "nearly indistinguishable" from the Iranian dish kookoo sabzi.
According to Alan Davidson, the French word omelette (French: [ɔm.lɛt]) came into use during the mid-16th century, but the versions alumelle and alumete are employed by the Ménagier de Paris (II, 5) in 1393. Rabelais (Pantagruel, IV, 9) 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.
Alexander Dumas discusses several variations of omelet in his Grand dictionnaire de cuisine. One is an omelet with fresh herbs (parsley, chives and tarragon, another is a variation with mushrooms that Dumas says may be adapted using green peas, asparagus, spinach, sorrel or varieties of truffles. The "kirsch omelet" (or rum omelet) is a sweet omelet made with sugar and liquor, either kirsh or rum. The omelet is rolled and sprinkled with powdered sugar. A hot poker is used to burn a design into the omelet and it is served with a sweet sauce made of liquor and apricot jam. Another sweet omelet, attributed to a royal cook of Prussia, is made with apples and brown sugar glaze. Of the Arabian omelet, Dumas writes "I have been concerned in this book to give the recipes of peoples who have no true cuisine. Here, for example, is a recipe the Bey's cook was good enough to give me." The omelet itself is made with an ostrich egg and served with a spicy tomato-pepper sauce.
In the Korean cuisine, traditional omelettes are known as Gyeran-mari (계란말이, "rolled-eggs") which is a type of savory banchan. Gyeran-mari is made with beaten eggs, mixed with finely diced vegetables, meats, and seafood. This side dish is often found in most Korean banquet (Janchi) meals, as well as Korean fast food (Bunsik) restaurants.
In the Philippines, omelettes are usually known as torta, they include:
While the Spanish term tortilla in Spain and the Philippines is applied to an omelette dish, in Mesoamerica it is a surrogate term for a flatbread made of wheat or corn. An omelette in Mesoamerica is commonly termed as tortilla de huevos, and more colloquially, omleta.
Omelette containing large amounts of chopped herbs.
A browned omelette
An omelette foldover
Masala omelette with bread toasties
Denver omelette served with hash browns and English muffin
Iranian omelette with tomato
Tamagoyaki, a Japanese omelette
Tortang talong, a Filipino omelette made with grilled eggplant
potato kuku from iran
On March 19, 1994, the largest omelette (128.5 m2, 1,383 sq ft) in the world at the time was made with 160,000 eggs in Yokohama, Japan, but was subsequently overtaken by another, weighing 2,950 kilograms (6,500 lb), made by the Canadian Lung Association at the Brockville Memorial Centre in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, on May 11, 2002. In turn, that record was surpassed on August 11, 2012, by an omelette cooked by the Ferreira do Zêzere City Council in Santarém, Portugal. This record-breaking omelette weighed 6,466 kg (14,255 lb), and required 145,000 eggs and a 10.3-metre (34 ft) diameter pan.