Traditions Field Note: Spanish Tortilla Omelet

Have you ever wanted to become a chief? Do you like to cook or help your mom or dad in the kitchen? What about making a dish that is native to another part of the world? Would you like to taste what kids in Spain love to eat?

You are about to dive into a special recipe from my host family in Spain. There are many recipes very similar to hers on the internet, and many different versions as well. This wonderful food is known as Tortilla Espanola, or Spanish tortilla in English. It is a very simple dish that does not require many ingredients; however, the taste is out of this world.

With a little less than an hour you will be able to provide your own family with this special treat. As you read this post, you will have my mama’s recipe so that you can enjoy one of the many traditions of the Spanish culture!

Are you ready to become a chief? Grab your paper and pen so that you can keep this recipe and join the rest of the Spanish culture in its enjoyment! Do you have everything ready?

Disfruta! Enjoy!

What tradition did I learn about?

I learned about many Spanish traditions while living with my mama in Segovia! I am going to tell you about my favorite one. It is the Tortilla Espanola, which is also known in English as the Spanish omelet. It is the most delicious tortilla I have ever tasted.

On my final day there, my mama taught me how to make it so that I could come home and share her recipe with my own family. Would you like to know how to make it? An authentic Spanish dish that will allow your taste buds to experience something like never before?

Well if so, get ready and I will walk you through the process. First you will need three large eggs, two large potatoes, one half of an onion, a little zucchini, cooking oil, salt, water, and a round skillet. Depending on who you are making this for, you can also add tuna, peppers, chicken or any other kind of meat or vegetable you would like.

Now for the directions! Are you all ready to write down these so that you can impress your family and friends?
1.    Thinly slice the potatoes, onions and zucchini
2.    Add the potatoes to a pan with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, then fry while adding a pinch of salt
3.    Once the potatoes are fried, mix in the onion and zucchini
4.    Separate the yolk from the white of the egg by pouring them into two separate bowls
5.    Add a little bit of water to the bowl with the egg whites and mix
6.    Once all mixed together, add the yolks into the mixture and beat together
7.    Add the egg mixture to the egg mixture to potatoes
8.    Fry the mixture twice on both sides
9.    Enjoy!

This will make a serving size for about four people, so if you want to make more, I advise making a smaller portion first to make sure nothing goes wrong. If you are like me, it may take a couple of times. Do not be discouraged; just keep trying!

This Spanish dish is also very popular in the community. Not only is it a traditional meal, but it is also served as a tapa. The word tapa literally means “lid;” however it is a Spanish custom to serve tapas with their wine, beer or any drink. The idea is to top off the drink. Normally they are just like appetizers here in the U.S. They range from the Spanish tortilla to little finger sandwiches to something as simple as olives. They are served in restaurants at times between the meals. The most popular time for tapas is between eleven and two in the afternoon.

One last note to this wonderful tradition is that it can also be eaten in many different ways. Do you like sandwiches? Or would you like to enjoy a nice warm meal after a long cold walk outside? Or just something to cool you down? Well, the Spanish tortilla can be served as all three. Whatever it is that you are craving to eat, it is perfect in every situation.

Why does the community have this tradition?

This tradition is said to have started many years ago with a man named Carlist General Zumalacarregui who was starving near a farmhouse. He was able to use the ingredients within the farmhouse, which happened to be potatoes and eggs, in order to create the delicious tortilla. There is also another legend related to the birth of the tortilla. In 1817, General Tomás de Zumalacárregui created it to feed his starving army.

However, these are just fables! Today the community uses this tradition as a major contributor to the cuisine. Can you think of anything in the American culture that is a part of our cuisine?

Is this tradition connected to its environment? How?
Like I said earlier, this tradition is beneficial to food sales in Spain. All of the natives love this food, and it’s very easy and affordable to cook in the kitchen. It is also very popular among the tourists. It has been around for many years and will still be for years to come.

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