An alternative term: YUM. Quite possibly the single BEST form of fast food you can prepare on your stove in half an hour or less. Forget all your US-centric ideas of a tortilla as a Latin American corn-meal shell used as a vector of delivery for loads of soggy, plasticised cheese, wilted salad, and meat of highly dubious orgin from that greasy Taco Bell tray direct to your colon. No, ladies and gentlemen, this is an Iberian original in the truest sense of its namesake, a dimunitive cake or "torta" shaped by lightly beaten eggs, sliced potatoes and piquant vegetables, and fried into a nice neat little patty with the diameter of your hand and the thickness of your thumb.

Besides the fact that it's a hearty, savoury dish without being overwhelming in taste or too heavy, tortillas have the benefit of versatility on their side. They can be eaten at literally any time of day, whether fresh off the skillet or (ideally) at lukewarm temperature over the course of a few hours. Best of all, tortillas española can be easily and neatly divided into separate slices or cubes to serve as an impromptu party platter. It's also next to impossible to make a mess during the course of this kind of consumption, a statement that definitely doesn't apply to their Mexican counterparts.

So you want to make some of your own and impress your friends with your wordly knowledge of "real" Spanish cuisine? Then put on that phallic chef's hat and round up these ingredients:

  1. 3 eggs (The key ingredient at hand. Get free-range ova if you can; it does make a difference)
  2. 1 medium-sized potato
  3. A fairly small egg pan (about 6" to 7" inches in diameter)
  4. Extra Virgin Olive oil, enough to cover your pan twice
  5. 1 small to medium-sized onion (About the size of an egg will do)
  6. About half of a red bell pepper
  7. Whatever else you feel like dumping in there. Basil, pepper, and garlic salt do the trick quite nicely.

Peel the potato and slice it into thin wedges no more than a couple of millimeters thick. Chop up the onion and bell pepper. Put your egg pan on a burner on medium heat, add olive oil, then fry the prepared ingredients until they're nice and crisp and oily. Dump the whole mess together in a bowl, oil and all. Crack your three eggs on this bowl and add the yellow and white goop on top. Pierce the yolks with a fork and schmear them about for one or two strokes without agitating them too greatly. Add more oil to the pan if necessary, then dump the contents of the bowl back into it. Keep the proto-tortilla on medium-low heat, turning when needed, then take it off to let it cool after you've achieved the desired level of doneness.

And give yourself a nice friendly pat on the back before you sit down to eat. You've just forever changed your personal connotation of a word that so many people in the Western Hemisphere find clear cut and unambiguous AND discovered a cheaper and much healthier option than those 99 cent tacos at your local fast food outfit for late-night study sessions. A definition of enlightenment if there ever were one. Plato would be proud.

A nodeshell rescue by Deckard97. R.I.P.