The word “omelette” is French and has been used to describe the fluffy cooked egg and milk mixture that we all know since at least the 17th century. The oldest written reference by that name appears in a French cookbook called Cuisine Bourgeoisie from that time period. However, that word is probably a derivative of “alumete” which dates back to at least the 14th century, also in France.
The dish itself is much older and seems to have developed spontaneously in many different geographic regions and among various cultures including Japan, Persia, Spain, and Italy. The ancient Romans had a version that was sweetened with honey and called Ova Spongia Ex Lacte.
As with so many dishes, Roman soldiers can probably be credited with spreading the dish as they conquered Europe and other areas.
Whatever its origins, the omelet is intrinsically linked with French cuisine. This may be partly due to a legend involving Napoleon Bonaparte. The story goes that Napoleon was served an omelet at an inn while travelling with his army. He loved the dish so much that he ordered a huge omelet be made from every single egg in the town in order to feed his soldiers. There is no proof that this ever actually happened, but the village of Bessieres, France celebrates the event every year with an omelette festival during which a giant omelette is made.
Eggs beaten (often with milk or other liquid) and cooked in a pan until firm. May be rolled or folded and filled with ingredients such as meat, cheese, or vegetables.
Eggs, milk, oil or butter for cooking. Optional fillings or toppings such as cheese, vegetables, or meats.