Our new flock of chickens is laying on all cylinders, and we’re collecting up to ten eggs a day. I’m giving a lot of them to friends, but I don’t have all that many friends, so I still have quite a few left. There’s nothing for it but to eat them.
Which raises a very important question: What on earth is the point of an omelet?
I certainly see the point of mixing eggs with things like cheese and onions, mushrooms and ham. But it makes so much more sense to simply scramble all those things together.
It starts with the pan issue. If you’re making an omelet, you either have to use two pans, or use one pan serially, first to sauté the filling and then to cook the omelet. A scramble uses one pan, once. Cook your onions, add your sausage, finish with spinach, then mix in the eggs and cheese. No getting bowls dirty with fillings, no worrying about little bits in the pan that will interfere with the omelet-making.
But that advantage pales in comparison to the other, more substantive advantages. It’s not easy to make an omelet so the eggs are cooked properly all the way through. Generally, you end up with a tough skin on the outside and an undercooked layer on the inside. But, even if you get it perfect, the eating experience is suboptimal. You get bites of all egg and no filling around the outside, and bites with too much filling and not enough egg on the inside.
And then there’s the texture of the egg. Eggs are best when they’re cooked in soft, creamy curds, not firm, spongy pancakes. The egg in omelets is the equivalent of well-done meat.
As far as I can tell, there is one, and only one, advantage to omelets. An omelet is an opportunity to show off. You get to demonstrate your professional technique and slide the perfect yellow semi-circle out of the pan and on to the plate of a suitably grateful diner. Well, bully for you.
I’ll take the scramble, with eggs just barely set, and cheese distributed evenly throughout. Every bite has a little onion, a little sausage, a little spinach. I’ll take my scramble over your perfect yellow semi-circle any day. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that omelets top my list of over-rated foods, a list that also includes cupcakes, vegetable juice, marshmallows, and the downright disgusting Philly cheese steak.
I wonder if being an unyielding absolutist has anything to do with my not having all that many friends.