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|Fried beaten eggs|
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The Italian word frittata derives from fritta, the feminine past participle of "to fry" (friggere), and was originally a general term for cooking eggs in a skillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried egg, through conventional omelette, to an Italian version of the Spanish tortilla de patatas, made with fried potato. Outside Italy, frittata was seen as equivalent to "omelette" until at least the mid-1950s.
In the last fifty years, "frittata" has become a term for a distinct variation that Delia Smith describes as "Italy's version of an open-face omelette". When used in this sense there are four key differences from a conventional omelette:
- There is always at least one optional ingredient in a frittata and such ingredients are combined with the beaten egg mixture while the eggs are still raw rather than being laid over the mostly-cooked egg mixture before it is folded, as in a conventional omelette. Eggs for frittata may be beaten vigorously to incorporate more air than traditional savory omelettes, to allow a deeper filling and a fluffier result.
- The mixture is cooked over a very low heat, more slowly than an omelette, for at least 5 minutes, typically 15, until the underside is set but the top is still runny.
- The partly cooked frittata is not folded to enclose its contents, like an omelette, but it is instead either turned over in full, or grilled briefly under an intense salamander to set the top layer, or baked for around five minutes.
- Unlike an omelette, which is generally served whole to a single diner, a frittata is usually divided into slices. It may be served hot or cold, accompanied by fresh salads, bread, beans, olives, etc.
Frittata is similar to the Middle Eastern dishes Eggah and Kuku. By comparison with frittata, kuku (or kookoo) recipes use a smaller proportion of eggs to bind larger amounts of other ingredients, have spices instead of cheese and are typically baked in the oven for 45–50 minutes without being turned over.
- "definition of frittata from Oxford Dictionaries Online". OUP. Retrieved 2011-03-02.
- Elizabeth David (1954). Italian Food. Barrie & Jenkins (published April 5, 1990). ISBN 978-0-7126-2000-0.
- Delia Smith (1998). Delia's How To Cook. Book One. BBC Worldwide. pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-563-38430-1. "the Italian word here is lentamente—very slowly"
- Robert Carrier (1963). Great Dishes of the World. Sphere Books (published 1967). p. 121. ISBN 0-7221-2172-5.
- Sarah Brown (1984). Vegetarian Cookbook. HarperCollins. p. 127. ISBN 0-7225-2694-6.
- H L Cracknell and R J Kaufmann (1972). Practical Professional Cookery. Macmillan (published 1973). pp. 114–119. ISBN 0-333-11588-0.
- Nigel Slater (1992). Real Fast Food. Penguin Books (published 2006). pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-14-102950-4.
- Gillian Riley (1 November 2007). "Eggs". The Oxford Companion to Italian Food. Oxford University Press. p. 168.
- Jamie Oliver. "roasted chilli frittata". Jamie magazine issue 7. Archived from the original on 2011-03-03.
- Najmieh Batmanglij (24 Oct 2007). A Taste of Persia: An Introduction to Persian Cooking. I.B.Tauris. p. 49.
- Nesta Ramazani (1997). "Persian Souffles (Kookoo)". Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights. Ibex. pp. 53–65. ISBN 0936347775.
- "Yotam Ottolenghi's aubergine kuku recipe". The Guardian. 2 January 2010. p. 43.
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