Place of origin
Region or state
|Flour, lard or olive oil, salt, water|
Piadina or Piada is a thin Italian flatbread, typically prepared in the Romagna region (Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna and Rimini). It is usually made with white flour, lard or olive oil, salt and water. The dough was traditionally cooked on a terracotta dish (called teggia in the Romagnol), although nowadays flat pans or electric griddles are commonly used.
The Piadina is typical of the Apennines area of Forlì, Cesena and Rimini, and also of the Ravenna area and the rest of the Romagna region. It is also widespread in the areas of Montefeltro, Pesaro e Urbino province, Ferrara province and the Republic of San Marino.
The etymology of the word "piadina" is uncertain; many think the term "piada" (piê, pièda, pìda) was borrowed from the Greek word for focaccia. Others think the term was borrowed from other languages because of the large use of similar foods throughout the Eastern Roman Empire. The term "Piada" was officialized by Pascoli, who adapted the Romagnol word "piè" into its more Italian form. Romagna was heavily influenced by Byzantium during the early Middle Ages when the Eastern Empire reconquered parts of the Western domain which had fallen to the invading barbarians. In those days Ravenna was the capital city of the Exarchate, and that would explain how the Greco-Byzantine recipe entered the local gastronomy.
The first written evidence of Piadina as it is now recognized dates back to 1371, in the Descriptio Romandiolae compiled by Cardinal Anglico, who for the first time gave the recipe of the bread of the people of Romagna: "It is made with wheat flour moistened with water and flavoured with salt. It is then kneaded with milk as well, and also a little lard."
Piadine are usually sold immediately after preparation in specialized kiosks (called piadinerie) filled with a variety of cheeses, cold cuts and vegetables, but also with sweet fillings such as jam or Nutella. There may be small differences depending on the zone of production. Piadine produced around Ravenna are generally thicker, while those produced around Rimini and the Marche region are thinner and the diameter is greater.
A Belgian company, owned by Swiss group Renzi AG, claims to own intellectual rights over a product called piadina. This can be easily circumvented, simply because piadina is the diminutive of piada and the ratio of ingredients, preparation and presentation can be changed at will.
|La j'è bona in tot i mud,
la j'è bona énca scundida
sa' n'avì ancora capì,
a scor propri dla pida.
|Delicious with filling
or even served plain,
if you haven't already guessed,
I am talking about the "piadina".
According to Giovanni Pascoli,
Nothing speaks more of Romagna than this bread of ours... it is a symbol that speaks of devotion to our land.—