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The "piadina" RomagnolaHistory and tradition: once a simple, traditional food, the piadina has become one of the nationally recognised symbols of our region. It is so well known that the fast food version is now widely served in motorway restaurants throughout Italy. Much to the horror of every self respecting local, accustomed to granny’s traditional cooking, the ‘industrial piadina’ now also fills supermarket shelves in cities all over the country.
The original recipe remains the subject of open debate. Every little village, locality and district in Romagna has its own particular recipe, and it is therefore impossible to trace the original composition with any certainty. The main differences between the numerous varieties of piadina available are ingredients, thickness and size.
In the zones of Forlì, Cesena, Faenza and Ravenna the piadina is typically small, very thick, and a pinch of baking soda is added to the dough. In Rimini we use only flour, water, lard and salt, then the dough is ‘stiata’ (rolled) until it is large and thin.
The piadina is cooked on the ‘testo’, a baking tray made of cast iron or – preferably - clay, which adds notably to the flavour. Iron or Teflon trays are more commonly used but the traditional clay versions are by far the best. Today these trays are produced in Montetiffi by Maurizio Camilletti and Rosella Reali, who are now the only remaining traymakers still faithful to a fast-disappearing ancient tradition.
Preparation and cooking
- Mix 500 g of flour with 50 g of lard, salt and as much warm water as is necessary to obtain a rather stiff dough.
- Make some small loaves of about 100 g each.
- Roll each one out into a circle of a thickness of about half a centimetre and a diameter of 15 centimetres.
- Cook the piadina on an iron hot plate or on a non-stick pan, turning from time to time until cooked.