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What is Tortilla De Patatas?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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Tortilla de patatas is a traditional Spanish dish that has been made since at least the 1800s. For North Americans, the name of this dish is a bit confusing, as it has absolutely nothing to do with the Latin American flatbread of the same name. Many Spanish restaurants offer tortilla de patatas, especially if they specialize in tapas, and this dish is a perennial favorite in Spain for picnics, casual parties, and family meals.

The key ingredients in tortilla de patatas are potatoes and eggs. The potatoes are first cooked in a heavy frying pan, and then drained and added to a bowl of beaten eggs. The pan is reheated with a bit of oil, and the potato and egg mixture is poured in to cook. Halfway through the process, the mixture is flipped out onto a special plate and slid back into the pan to cook the other side. When finished, the dish closely resembles a frittata, a very similar egg dish.

In a sense, a tortilla de patatas is like an omelette with potatoes, except that it is extremely thick. A traditional one is typically almost as high as the pan it is cooked in, and it is designed to be eaten in wedges known as pinchos de tortilla, like a cake or pie. Some Spanish cooks refer to this dish as “tortilla de Española,” differentiating it from “tortilla a la Francesca,” a French-style plain omelette.

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In addition to the basic potatoes and eggs, tortilla de patatas can also include onion, garlic, cured meats, fresh vegetables, and an assortment of other ingredients. It is eaten both hot and cold, with a variety of sauces. Although a lot of oil is involved in the cooking process, this dish is not typically greasy, although it is very filling, thanks to the dense potatoes and protein-rich eggs. This may be why it is so popular as a tapas offering, since a wedge can prepare the stomach for a night of drinking.

This dish is often served with pickles, bread, and olives, and it may be eaten like a sandwich between two pieces of thick bread. Unlike the closely related frittata, tortilla never enters the oven during the cooking process. In addition to being served in Spain, it is also found in some parts of Latin America, especially Argentina.

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anon122218
Post 3

Never ever was a tortilla española made with flour. Only eggs, potatoes, onion and olive oil. That's it (ingredients stick together by themselves ). I'm from Spain.

anon105108
Post 2

I've never heard of a torilla de papas made with flour.

anon39893
Post 1

Actually it's tortilla espanola (de española does not make sense in Spanish) Your recipe lacks flour. That will make the tortilla's ingredients stick together. You can use any kind of flour like "harina pan" (made of corn, the same one you use to make Arepas). Wheat flour is the most common, or chick-pea flour is also good. You can replace the potatoes with green beans, or other vegetables or even the rice or spaghetti.

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