located in the Catalan countryside, is the centre of a wine, olive, and almond
growing area. The omelette is a traditional dish, taken by the olive pickers
up into the olive orchards. It is a spinach omelette, heated up on the spot
in a sauce made of oil and flour, salt, water, garlic, parsley, and paprika.
how you make the Omelette or Truita. It is unique in Catalunya for
having a sauce. The recipe was developed for olive-pickers who left home
for a week or two. They would take with them these spinach omelettes (the
time of year: December and January, when the spinach crop was in and the
olives ripe) to the olive terraces miles away. When lunchtime came, they
made the "suc" (the sauce), and simply slid the omelettes into
the boiling sauce in pots on their fires. They also took dried bacalao, which
of course keeps and transports easily, and which goes extremely well with
the spinach omelette.
spinach (this is an authentic recipe, so no quantities are given!), wash
it, cook it in only the water that clings to it, squeeze out the liquid,
then chop it. Beat the eggs (not too many - it's a very green omelette),
then add the spinach and some cooked white beans (canned will do) and salt
to taste. Cook the omelette in olive oil, strictly speaking in an earthen
cassola. (The two we had for dinner were absolutely gigantic - we were twenty,
and people had huge platefuls.) Fry the previously-soaked bacalao (the addition
of bacalao is optional). In the oil in an earthernware cassola (this is essential,
the omelette could have been cooked in a frying pan) fry chopped garlic,
parsley, add a little flour (i.e. make a Catalan sofregit). Add hot water
and powered red pepper (sweet paprika) to taste, and salt. Add a flour and
water mixture to thicken the sauce if necessary or, if possible, ground
almonds (in all this cornstarch does very well.) Let it boil, then simmer.
Slide the omelette in either whole or cut into quarters. Heat it up
on a low flame, while, as everyone says with relish, "fa xup xup" which
expresses the sound of the bubbling until you feel it is ready. Serve
with the bacalao.
Ingredients for the sauce on display
The omelettes (truitas) are lined up for judging.
Castellars as part of the celebration
Drinking the local wine notice the flowering almond trees in the
©Margaret Visser 2001