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Piadina of Romagna

Piada, pie, pjida, pièda, pji, pida: various Romagna dialect denominations to name this flatbread. But after all, they refer to the same thing, a great delicacy of simple composition.

Piadina of Romagna

The most classic dish of Romagna is found both along the coast and in the hills, along the historic flow of the Sillaro River, to the south of the province of Bologna, up to Ravenna, then to Rimini passing through Forli and Cesena.

It has ancient origins, since it was a simple-mixture plain dish of rural populations. The first written evidence dates back to the year 1371, when for the first time Cardinal Legato Anglico de Grimoard noted down on the Descriptio Romandiolae the piadina recipe: “It is made from wheat flour mixed with water and seasoned with salt. It can be mixed also with milk and seasoned with a bit of lard”.

And still today, its dough has not changed, boasting the Protected Geographical Indication. Depending on the locations, its ingredients undergo some variations; for example, olive oil can be used instead of lard or a bit of baking soda can be added to make it crumblier and softer, but the flavor is always the same: delicious!

Once obtained the mixture, make little balls of 25-30 cm diameter to be rolled out, into round shape, with a rolling pin – or with modern machinery. Now the piadina is ready to be cooked on a baking pan or the so-called “testo” (an earthenware crock) or a non-stick pan. We recommend to cook it quickly on both sides and to enjoy it while hot, after having cut it into four parts.

Usually piadina is eaten while hot, but even when is cold is fantastic. It is delicious if eaten plain instead of bread, or stuffed with cold meats, cheese, sausage, vegetables au gratin or chards.

The thinner piadina (2-3 mm) can be found in Riccione and Rimini in general, while the thicker and bigger one (4-8 mm) is typical of the area of Forlì and Ravenna, so that each small piece can be cut in the middle and stuffed with a considerable layer of squacquerone cheese, and even a few leaves of rocket!

Another version of piadina is the “crescione” (called in this way from Forlì northwards) or cassone (in Rimini): the dough is very thin and half-stuffed with a filling according to choice, for example sausage and pan-fried onion, or raw “rosole” (the poppy’s young plant), mozzarella cheese and tomato, just like the “calzone” you eat at pizzerias – and a more modern version... with nutella hazelnut spread – simply amazing!

Piadina can be found everywhere in Romagna, at the typical kiosks, or at the restaurant, it is usually served together with traditional dishes.

Nowadays, every self-respecting supermarket, even outside Emilia Romagna, has at least four or five packets of piada produced by the renowned firms of Romagna.

But what goes with it? For sure the Sangiovese, a well-structured, generous and harmonious wine, or if you prefer white wines, the Pagadébit is highly recommended.

For information

Local site: Rimini Riviera

Last modified Jan 10, 2017

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