Research shows: this is how Spaniards prefer to eat tortilla

by Lorraine Williamson

It is a dilemma that has divided public opinion in Spain for years. Is the best tortilla – the typically Spanish potato omelette – with or without onion? The convincing answer emerges from research by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS). 

70.4% of Spaniards choose the omelette with onion. The results of the survey, based on 4,538 interviews conducted between 31 July and 11 August this year, also shows preferences in terms of doneness. The majority of respondents prefer tortilla not cooked all the way through (53.9%). The very well-done tortilla is favoured by 26.9%.  

Gender and age determine preference 

The survey also breaks down the choices by gender and age. There are almost no differences between men and women. Among young people, the tortilla with onion has the most followers in the 18-24 age groups (74.7%) and in the 25-34 age group (77.6%). The 55-64 age group had the highest preference for the tortilla without onion at 22.7%. Among the slightly younger respondents, the tortilla not quite cooked was the most popular. Among 25-34-year-olds, it was 62.3% and 35-44-year-olds 63.3%.  

Also read: How to make Spanish tortilla

Most typical and representative dish of Spanish cuisine 

The survey also pays extensive attention to what is the most typical and representative dish of Spanish gastronomy. 48% of those surveyed agree that paella comes first, followed by tortilla (25.4%) and Iberian ham (17.8%). However, the order among young people is slightly different: tortilla comes first, followed by paella and Iberian ham.  

Here, many Spaniards agree 

On many things, Spaniards are fairly unanimous. For example, on the use of olive oil. As many as 98% think it should be used “preferably” when cooking. 85.8% opt for stews, compared to 8.9% for fried food. 81.1% of Spaniards see Spanish cuisine as the best in the world. They put Italian cuisine second and French cuisine third. This is followed by Japanese, Mexican, Chinese and Peruvian cuisine.  

Meat or fish 

The choice between meat (44.2%) and fish (40.8%) is fairly evenly divided. Although this does vary greatly by age. Between 18-24, 76.6% prefer meat to fish (19.6%). This difference becomes somewhat less pronounced later on. In the last age category, above 75 years, fish (49.5%) wins out over meat (23.4%). 

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