PIADINA ROMAGNOLA PGI needs no presentation: everyone knows it and its deliciousness.
Even though it has been present in the history of the local gastronomy for a lot of time, its origins are surrounded by an aura of mystery. There is no known literature talking about the place or time of its origin.
In Romagna, piadina is literally daily bread. Either for lunch or for dinner, it is always a good table companion.
Although the ingredients are few and simple (flour, lard, salt and water) this ancient and special bread can change texture, thickness and dimensions according to the geographical area in which it is produced.
In the area of Ravenna (as well as in Forlì and Cesena), it is quite thick – about 4 to 8 mm – and small (with a diameter of about 20 cm), as opposed to the one produced in the south of Romagna (Rimini), where it is much larger and thinner.
The best way to enjoy a piadina
Piadina is usually folded in half and filled with cold cuts, cheese and vegetables, but also sweet creams and jams accompanied by a good red wine, possibly Sangiovese.
If piadina is stuffed and closed before cooking, its name changes into cassone in Rimini and crescione in the area of Forlì and Ravenna. Cassoni and crescioni are large stuffed tortelli prepared with the same dough as piadina and cooked on the same surface. They can be stuffed with pumpkin and potatoes, mozzarella and tomato, spinach or mixed field herbs.
The best places to buy a piadina or a crescione are the traditional green-and-white-striped kiosks on the streets of Romagna (the so-called piadinari) but also traditional restaurants and taverns of the territory.
Recipe by chef Matteo Salbaroli
INGREDIENTS FOR 8 PIADINAS
- 500 grams of flour;
- 80 grams of lard;
- 20 grams of yeast;
- 25 grams of salt;
- 250 grams of milk;
- a tablespoon of honey.
- Parma ham;
Pour the flour in a bowl, mix it with lard and add salt and honey. Mix with milk until you get a uniform dough ball.
After the preparation of the dough, that does not have to rest and rise, divide it into smaller balls. Cover them with a cloth, so that the dough doesn’t oxidise and leave it to rest for a couple of hours.
Roll the balls with a rolling pin until you get a half-centimeter-high piadina.
In the meantime heat a baking tray. This can be non-stick or made of terracotta or cast iron.
Put the piadinas on it for no more than 2 minutes, and only turn them around once.
After the piadinas are cooked, cut them in half and serve them with the fillings you prefer. They are very tasty with everything and also plain!
Chef Matteo Salbaroli also recommends an alternative version, with fermented black garlic powder inside the dough. In this case, once rolled, the piadina must be fried in hot oil and served with cold cuts and cheese.