One day Simon and I invented a tortilla recipe. It started a debate between us about the difference between an omelette, a Spanish tortilla, a quiche and a frittata. After a little research I can confirm that there is very little difference actually, but for the purist here goes;
• Omelettes are shallow and folded, sometimes containing additional ingredients, normally cheese, ham and mushrooms. The added ingredients are placed onto the cooked eggs which are then folded, served hot an omelette makes a filling breakfast or light lunch.
• Spanish tortilla are a deep omelette containing sliced potatoes and possibly a little onion. The eggs and potatoes are mixed together and cooked over a low heat then turned half way through the cooking time. Served hot or cold in slices or as bite sized tapas the tortilla makes a great picnic dish.
• Frittata are Italian, probably originating from the Spanish version, and can contain any meat cheese and vegetables you happen to have to hand including potatoes and pasta. Everything except the eggs and cheese are heated through, the combined eggs and cheese is evenly poured over. The deep frittata is cooked on the hob before being finished under a hot grill to cook the top. Normally served hot in wedges, it is a great alternative to a Quiche if you are avoiding pastry.
• Quiche or egg flans have a pastry base. Due to the pastry they rarely contain potatoes and pasta but they usually have a mix of vegetables, meat, fish and cheese. The added ingredients are layered in the pastry with the eggy mix and baked in the oven. It is best to cook meat and fish before baking. Served hot or cold a quiche makes a great meal with salad especially if you are eating alfresco.
I hope this is helpful. At the end of the day, whatever you cook, as long as it tastes great does it matter what you call it? We think not.