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Friday 20 July 2012

False (Home) Economy

After my recent experiments into frittata, it became quite obvious that I needed to invest in a new frying pan of a smaller circumference, but retaining the same depth. While the frying/grilling system for making a frittata has been reasonably successful in my home set-up (ignoring the fact that I always seem to miss something in the ingredients...Foreshadowing...), the outward spread of the mixture has always greatly diminished the potential depth of the frittata, and everyone knows that they're mean to be deep-pan omelettes.

So, on a recent trip to a local supermarket, I had look in their kitchen utensils section, and found something rather odd.

There are such things as 'omelette pans', which fit the bill: 20cm diameter, 4cm deep... they're basically designed for making frittatas, rather than omelettes. At least, I've always thought of omelettes as being large and fairly flat, the idea being to fold them in half - the only way you could accomplish that with such a small, deep frying pan would be to make a 2-egg omelette... but that's hardly worth the effort, right?

So, here was this small, deep pan that not only seemed purpose built for my needs, but was even named an 'omelette pan', just to hammer the point home. Perfect, right?


Because, just a short distance away on the same shelf was a 20cm diameter frying pan. It, too, was 4cm deep. It, too, seemed purpose built for my needs.

So, gentle reader, what do you suppose the difference was?

Well, for starters, there were cosmetic differences, such as the steepness of the curve toward the rim, the size/shape of the handle and also the composition of the handle.

The most important difference, though, was the price: the 'basic' frying pan was a whole £2 cheaper than the 'purpose built' omelette pan (£10 vs £12). That represents almost a 17% price hike between two pans which, for all intents and purposes, are the same, except cosmetically.

Being on a bit of a budget at the moment, I'm sure you can guess which one I ended up choosing.

The new pan (left) and old vs new (right). Not as broad, maybe, but every bit as deep... leading to...

Oh, mercy yes, that's a nice, deep-pan frittata, alright!

Sits neatly in the central recess of the plate (though it would be a better fit if I'd got it out the right way up, rather than dumping it out by holding the pan upside-down over the plate)

Doesn't that look good?
(You may notice a distinct lack of Dill - yes, I forgot it... and all the seasoning, to be perfectly honest... but I ended up solving that little gaffe by serving it with mustard and dill sauce, normally reserved for plain salmon steaks and the Filet o'Salmon Fish Fingers)

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