Monday, June 29, 2009
You say Omelet, I say... Omelette.
Dear Tricia, I need you to settle a bet. How do you really spell omelet? Is it "omelet," or "omelette?"
I hope you haven't said any regrettable words during this spelling argument because you're both right: it is correctly spelled either way. Its more common to see "omelet" on American menus and "omelette" on French menus, but because French food is fused into lots of American dining, you'll see "omelette" make an appearance on plenty of American menus too. Deciding how to spell it for yourself just depends on how pompous you want to portray yourself as. If you have a mustache, I'd recommend the French spelling.
Originally, the spelling "omelette" belonged to the French; they named it in the mid 1500's way before America was even happening. But when Americans decided to start making omelets, they changed the spelling, because the English language likes to make everything harder than it needs to be.
When you look up "omelet" on Wikipedia, it immediately takes you to the page titled "Omelette," so it may be proper to lean more towards the French spelling. But when have you ever been proper? (I know my readers probably don't fall into that category.) Or perhaps Wikipedia is run by little Frenchies, which is just fine, because Wikipedia happens to do great things for the world, like not letting Scientologists edit their own page on the site. Thanks, Wikipedia.
Also, when I spellchecked this, the french spelling, omelette, came up as incorrect. Again, more proof that either way could be correct.
Other fun facts about omelets:
The Cambodian version of an omelet is called Bi pong moun. Try using that one in a sentence today.
In Japan, the omelet is "Tamagoyaki." But they also came up with a version of it called "Omurice," (and NO, I did not make that up. It really is a combination of the words "omelet" and "rice.") that is an omelet filled with rice and served with a lot of ketchup. I'd like to know who's eaten one of those so I can give them a big hug. Or a slap on the face... I haven't decided yet.
The Iowa Egg Council has a website (www.iowaegg.org) where they give you directions on how to make an omelet in the microwave. Personally, I'm more concerned on why there is even a Council for Eggs, let alone one in Iowa, than I am about the weirdness of a microwave omelet.
In 1994, Japan held the record for making the biggest omelet in the world, but it has since been beaten by Canada, who made an omelet weighing in at 2.95 Tons in 2002. Leave it up to North America to show Japan that yes, bigger is indeed better.