Mère Poulard and her husband opened the restaurant in 1873. At first, Madame Poulard created the omelet to be an appetizer, despite its large size, when patrons of her restaurant and inn had to wait for delayed food to arrive from the mainland because of the tides.
The Poulard omelette is more like a soufflé than the traditional omelet because the egg whites and yolks are separated and beaten into a froth. Then they are cooked over an open fire in a buttered pan—and there’s nothing to compare with butter from Normandy. While Americans eat omelets for breakfast, les français eat them for lunch or dinner.
I remember visiting Madame Poulard’s while in college, and it still is the best omelet I’ve ever eaten. If you have a chance to visit the restaurant, you’ll be in good company. King Edward VII, Maurice Chevalier, Leon Trotsky, Christian Dior, Ernest Hemingway, French presidents, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and even Marilyn Monroe have crossed its threshold.
While the recipe is a secret, here is a good facsimile:
Mère Poulard’s Omelette
- 5 eggs
- 1/3 c grated Gruyère
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 T of melted butter
- Salt and pepper.