When you go for a picnic in Spain, you don’t just take any old food. You take tortilla. There are rules. Variety is not encouraged. Going to the country or the beach without a tortilla may be punishable by law. There are other picnic foods that can be debated regarding rank, relevance and regional variations. But around here, if you go for a picnic this will be the menu:
- Tortilla (fried potato omelette)
- Pimientos fritos (fried green peppers)
- Filete empanado (breaded, fried meat)
Heavy on the fried.
Tortilla is a fried potato omelette, for lack of a better translation. But where as omelette sounds light and fluffy, tortilla is anything but.
It’s part of Rogelio’s kitchen repertoire, not mine. I don’t even like to watch. Tortilla involves peeling and frying a sack of potatoes. Not a light saute in a splash of oil. We’re talking sizzling potatoes in litres of olive oil. Then you add just enough egg so that it all sticks together. There is an art to flipping this huge mass over in the frying pan. You can’t burn the bottom, but you need enough coagulated egg to glue it all together.
This sucker weighed in at 2.7 kilos. That’s 6 pounds for those of you who don’t speak metric. My kids weighed the same as this tortilla at birth.
(Yes, those are my filthy old Crocs next to our lunch. This is how I cut down on cooking for company obligations.)
Although the whole deep fry issue grosses me out, tortilla is the classic attractive food; bland, full of carbs, flavored with salt. Come on, admit it. You love big greasy chunks of fried potato, glued together with egg. It’s scrambled eggs plus hash browns that you can pick up in one hand. The perfect picnic food.
Add a few olives and beer and VOILA! More bum padding for that lawn chair.
“Hey kid! Quit pinching my olives!”