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If there is a gastronomic topic that raises special discussion, it is the one referring to the way to prepare the Spanish omelette (called tortilla in Spanish): thin or fat, with or without onion, well done or undercooked … A good place to think about all these questions is Betanzos, a town in the province of A Coruña famous for making the best preparations according to a traditional recipe: a juicy omelette, with quality potatoes, eggs and olive oil and… without onion.
The success of the recipe lies in its simplicity, but it does not mean that the perfect “tortilla” (the Spanish word for omelette) is something easy to achieve. Only expert hands, with dedication and love for cooking, manage to find the perfect match of different ingredients.
Near A Coruña (moving from A Coruña to Betanzos by car will take you less than half an hour), in this monumental and historical town we can enjoy a gastronomy characterized by the use of local products. The omelette, vegetables such as cabbage and the wine from the land of Betanzos are an incentive for many travelers attracted by unique and high-quality gastronomic products.
Spanish Omelette Week
We could say that, in Betanzos, there is no tapas bar that does not include tortilla in its menu. In fact, a lot of tourists choose this place because they want to taste the products. “There is no table that does not ask for omelette”, says Pepa Miranda, owner and cook at the restaurant Casa Miranda.
In the opinion of Pepa Miranda, one of the keys to this famous omelette is to pay attention to the quality of the different ingredients: “We are very careful about the quality of the egg, I look for the best potato and I only use olive oil”, she assures.
But the ingredients are not the only important thing: it is also necessary to pay attention to little details as the exact point of salt and the preparation of the potato, cutting it in small pieces and using a pan (not a deep fryer) for frying it.
The key is to “spend a lot of time” cooking and working with personal involvement. “I suffer if it doesn’t come out the way I want”, says the veteran cook, who remembers that “when Casa Miranda started working 45 years ago, the omelette from Betanzos was not as well known as it is now. In recent years, with the contests, it became more known for the people”.
Once a year, during the celebration of the Spanish Omelette Week, the village becomes a show-window in which you can discover and taste different preparations of this local specialty
Although the characteristics of the omelette from Betanzos make it a unique delicacy, each restaurant in the town has its own way of cooking it. “The truth is that the omelette from Betanzos it is juicy, but each one is different”, says Pepa Miranda about the work of the different cookers.
During the Spanish Omelette Week, which is celebrated during the month of October, Betanzos becomes a show-window in which to discover and taste the different preparations of the local specialty. The winner represents Betanzos in the spanish potato omelette contest and several years Betanzos has won the national competition.
On the occasion of the local gastronomic event, born in 2007, different bars and restaurants compete to be the authors of the best omelette, a way to give visibility to the local star dish and, at the same time, stimulate continuous improvement. “You cannot guard down, you have to work on maintaining quality” Pepa Miranda -whose tortilla has been awarded in 5 editions- says.
The Spanish Omelette Week is not the only party protagonized by this delicatessen. Tortilla is also present in the main local celebrations, being a gastronomic product in high demand at popular parties such as San Roque. Declared National Tourist Interest Party, these festivities include the famous launching of the paper hot-air balloon and the fluvial pilgrimage of the caneiros.
The other tastes of As Mariñas
But the region of As Mariñas, in A Coruña, not only guards the secret of the best omelettes. Taking a tour of this land offers you the opportunity to discover other delicacies such as the mussel from the port of Lorbé, unique in the Rías Altas with rafts (called bateas) to produce this tasty mollusk.
Another essential option to discover the flavors of this territory is to try the bread from Carral, the best companion for any of the different gastronomic specialties of the area. Its artisan production and its very fluffy crumb are its main hallmarks.