Why is Omelet Spelled Differently?

The seemingly simple dish of omelet (or omelette) has a surprisingly complex history, reflected in its varying spellings. This article delves into the reasons behind the different spellings and explores the fascinating journey of this culinary classic.

The Tale of Two Spellings: Omelet vs. Omelette

While both “omelet” and “omelette” refer to the same delicious egg dish, their spellings differ based on regional variations.

American English: In the United States, the preferred spelling is “omelet.” This spelling first appeared in the early 17th century and gained widespread adoption among Americans.

British English: On the other hand, British English retains the original French spelling, “omelette.” This aligns with the French word’s origin, “alemette,” which emerged in the 1400s.

The History of Omelet

The origins of the omelet can be traced back to the Persian Empire, where a similar dish existed. However, the modern version of the omelet is attributed to France. The word “omelette” first appeared in the French culinary classic “Cuisine Bourgeois” by François Menon.

The omelet’s popularity spread beyond France, reaching the Americas with European colonists. In the United States, the spelling “omelet” became commonplace, while British English retained the original French spelling.

Regional Variations in Omelet Preparation

Interestingly, the spelling difference isn’t the only regional variation associated with omelets. The way omelets are prepared also differs across regions.

French Omelette: The classic French omelette is known for its thinness and simplicity. It focuses on the egg itself, with minimal fillings.

American Omelette: In contrast, American omelets are typically thicker and filled with a variety of ingredients, such as cheese, vegetables, and meat.


The different spellings of “omelet” and “omelette” reflect the dish’s fascinating history and its journey across continents. While the spelling may vary, the essence of the omelet remains the same – a delicious and versatile egg dish enjoyed worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which spelling is correct, “omelet” or “omelette”?

A: Both spellings are correct, depending on the regional variation of English being used. “Omelet” is preferred in American English, while “omelette” is preferred in British English.

Q: What is the origin of the word “omelet”?

A: The word “omelette” originated in France, with its roots tracing back to the 1400s French word “alemette.”

Q: How do French and American omelets differ?

A: French omelets are typically thinner and focus on the egg itself, while American omelets are thicker and filled with various ingredients.

Additional Resources


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We are aware that this egg dish was popular long before it was included in traditional French cookbooks. Actually, the Romans had their own version as well, which dates back to the “Apicius,” a compilation of Roman recipes. Once Menon first used the term in his book, Napoleon Bonaparte’s journey through the south of France led him to include omelets on the map. He was so impressed with the omelet the innkeeper there served him for breakfast that he ordered the chefs to prepare an enormous omelet for his army. The residents of Bessieres, France, celebrate this custom every Easter, though it may just be a myth.

The French culinary classic “Cuisine Bourgeois,” written by François Menon, is where the word “omelette” first appeared. The word’s earliest form dates back to the 1400s and is called alemele, meaning “blade of a knife or sword” in reference to the cooked omelet’s shape. Even though omelets have been around since the Persian Empire, this iconic French cookbook popularized the dish and introduced other French cooking methods. As with many other words, the colonialists simply removed the “te” when the dish moved west, and the term “omelet” has since become widely used.

You’re not alone if you’ve noticed that some restaurants and publications spell “omelet” differently than “omelette.” There’s a good reason for this variation in spelling. The word “omelette” comes from the original French for the savory egg dish, as is the case with all iconic culinary terms. In the West, we just refer to it as “omelet,” but the preferred European spelling is “omelette.” “.

The term “omelet” and the egg dish itself are credited to France, but the origins of the omelet can be traced back to the Spanish and Aztecs in the early 1500s, during the Persian Empire. Not only do different regions have different spellings for the word “omelet,” but they also have different methods for preparing them. The American version of an omelet differs from a traditional French omelet in that the former is thicker and emphasizes the egg as the main ingredient, while the latter uses a variety of toppings to fill its.

The word is still pronounced somewhat differently in Europe and America even today, despite the differences in spelling.

An omelette is no omelet

Not only are French and American-style omelets spelled differently, but they are also made using very different ingredients, cooking techniques, and presentation styles. Furthermore, they’re frequently meant to be served at different meals; in France, a dish is more likely to be served for dinner than for brunch.

French omelettes have a unique texture, much like French scrambled eggs, which are much softer, silkier, and buttery with smaller curds than American style. Unlike American omelets, which have a firmer outside and more color, these are much softer, with the eggs cooked just enough to be gooey.

However, creating a flawless French-style omelette takes less time to prepare than an American omelet, in contrast to French scrambled eggs, which are cooked slowly over a low heat and require patience. That’s partially because, when made in its most basic form, it concentrates on just two ingredients—eggs and butter—instead of using a variety of fillings, which require more time. However, it also has to do with shaking the pan instead of holding it motionless, which results in a thin layer of egg mixture that is stirred with a fork. Instead of the thicker American serving, which is typically folded in half, the expertly finished omelette is then served folded in three, like a roll.

4 Levels of Omelets: Amateur to Food Scientist | Epicurious

What is the difference between omelet and omelette?

Omelet is the spelling used in American English. Omelette is the spelling used in British English. An omelet (or omelette) is a type of egg dish, often served at breakfast or brunch. Neither spelling is wrong, but there are some guidelines for when to use which. Where does the word omelet come from?

How do you spell omelette in English?

Omelet is the standard spelling in American English. In fact it appears about twice as often as omelette in American publications. But omelette beats omelet in British English. When you’re choosing which spelling you should use, pick the one your audience will be more familiar with and stick with it in your writing.

Should I use omelet instead of omelette?

In American English, the spelling “omelet” is more commonly used, and the extra “e” is usually dropped. Therefore, if you are writing for an American audience, it is advisable to use the spelling “omelet” instead of “omelette”. 2. Regional Variations

Is omelet a French word?

Despite the different spellings, omelette and omelet are pronounced the same way (ahm-let). However, the French version of the word makes use of all the letters and syllables in the word: oh-muh-let. “Omelette” or “Omelet”: Which Should You Use? It’s ultimately fine to use either omelet or omelette. The AP Stylebook may prefer omelet.

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