French cooking France

France has turned the simple dish that is the omelette into a real gourmet's handiwork.

Is the omelette as old as the world? Not so sure... The Greeks and Romans couldn't make them because they hadn't yet invented the frying pan. It is thanks to the Arabs of Andalusia that the frying pan appeared in the West, and it seems that it was the French who had the idea of the simple (and good) omelette, when in so many other nations, a whole bunch of ingredients were added... In any case, it's a simple dish and so tasty that it was well worth a look, no?


Brief history of the omelette 

A dish appreciated since the Middle Ages in France 

The omelette was born with the frying pan, which explains why, if the Romans, the Egyptians and the Greeks had the idea of beating eggs, they could not make an omelette because the frying pan arrived much later. It seems to be an Arab invention. It arrived with them in Spain, more precisely in Andalusia, it is mentioned in the 10th century by Ibn Sayyar Al Varaq and there is already talk of a dish that resembles the omelette at that time. The Aztecs could well have eaten a kind of omelette that is described by the conquistadors, with goose eggs. In France, the omelette is mentioned since the Middle Ages. In particular in a culinary work from the 14th century called "le ménagier de Paris", written by a Parisian bourgeois whose name is unknown, but who set out to write a book to explain to his young wife how she should take care of the house and cook. Ahhhh those guys. No one knows why they say "omelette". Some say "melette" eggs but we don't know what "melette" means even though many experts think it simply means "mixed." After all, who cares, what matters is that it's good. 

Appreciated by the greatest 

Still, in France, the greatest liked the omelette. Notably Descartes. Yes, the famous mathematician who said "I think, therefore I am". He even described his favorite omelette: cooked with eggs from a good farm, incubated for 8 or 10 days by the hens. According to specialists the taste is a bit special, but it is while eating omelets, since he doesn't like much else, that Descartes writes his greatest ideas and writes his "discourse of the method" preliminary to any scientific research. Louis XIII made simple omelettes that his father Henri IV had to taste. Louis XIV liked them with asparagus or peas which he loved and which he made fashionable. Louis XV does not sulk in front of a good omelette with cock's crests invented for him by his maitre queux (dick too when you think about it since it was thought that cock's crests were aphrodisiacs). 

It causes the loss of a great man: Condorcet 

Nicolas de Condorcet 1743 - 1793

Nicolas de Condorcet (1743 - 1793)

It is a simple omelette which causes the death of Nicolas de Condorcet (1743-1793). Condorcet is one of the philosophers of the 18th century. He became a deputy during the French Revolution and was responsible for the invention of copyright and, above all, one of the first demands for the abolition of slavery. As a "Girondin", while being chased, and knowing that he was going to be arrested, he decided to flee Paris and stopped incognito in an inn in Clamart. He takes great care to remain unnoticed, not to look aristocratic and therefore to look as little rich as possible. Except that it is precisely the fact that he has never cooked himself, who has always been served, that will cause his downfall. When the innkeeper asks him what he wants for dinner, Condorcet replies "an omelette will do", "very well" replies the innkeeper "how many eggs?" Condorcet then answers "12". 4 times more than the necessary number of eggs, which anyone who has ever made an omelet knows. Proof that the customer has never cooked in his life and has always been served. This is precisely what we reproach the nobles for when we are revolutionaries... Denounced by the innkeeper as a possible aristocrat, he is taken in and recognized as Nicolas de Condorcet. He is immediately locked up. He will be found dead 2 days later in his dungeon, without knowing if it is because of a stroke or a suicide by poisoning. Rude this desire of omelette admit it!

Une bonne omelette Photo par Mehriban A/ShutterstockUne bonne omelette Photo par Mehriban A/Shutterstock


Our simple omelette recipe

The ingredients

For 4 people : 

  • 8 eggs (basically it's always 2 per person, even if some add a yolk)
  • 50 grams  
  • 10 Cl of milk
  • A little oil 
  • salt 
  • pepper 

The process: 


  1. You break the eggs in a bowl (a bottom of hen admit that it is original as return to the sender!). 
  2. Beat them well with a fork
  3. You add the milk
  4. Add the salt (a good pinch) and pepper. 
  5. Put the pan to heat with a little butter in it
  6. When the butter is melted (10/20 grams max), add it to the bowl of eggs and mix a little more
  7. Over high heat, on a very hot pan, pour the eggs from your bowl 
  8. Move to medium heat 
  9. Bring the outer parts, which cook quickly, inward when they are done
  10. Stir the pan a little from time to time
  11. Always keep the omelet a little sloppy, it tastes better, so don't cook it too long
  12. Fold it in half 
  13. Put it on the plate 

More ideas 

You can add all kinds of ingredients to an omelette, that's what makes it so charming. Mushrooms that have been browned in butter in the pan before making the omelette, a little paprika, why not a little nutmeg instead of pepper. You can add cheese (grated Gruyere for example, or Parmesan) and especially fine herbs.

The French omelette 

To the previous recipe, add 200 grams of ham in small slices, and 200 grams of grated cheese.

  • Mix the eggs 
  • Add the grated Gruyere cheese
  • Cook on a hot stove 
  • Put the ham 
  • Bring the edge parts, which cook faster, to the center
  • Fold in half 

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Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.