Dear Wikipedia, what is a piadina? How do you make it? Where does it originate? And where can I get one of these babies?
Piadina or Piada is a thin Italianflatbread, typically prepared in the Romagna region. 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 Romagnolo dialect), although nowadays flat pans or electric griddles are commonly used.
Piadinas 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. Piadinas produced around Ravenna are generally thicker, while those produced around Rimini and the Marche region are thinner and the diameter is greater.
WOW. I always thought that flatbread came from the Spanish due to their rockin’ tortillas… but Wikipedia confirms that the Italians made it happen.
I was advised to try as many piadinas as possible so I went to a few different piadinerias to see if I could find any differences in the taste, texture and thickness. And just to make the comparison accurate, I ordered the Romagnola favorite, known as the Adriatica (after the Adriatic Sea) EVERY TIME: prosciutto crudo (dry-cured ham), rucola (salad) and scamorza (cow cheese).
1) Il Vicolo- 5,20: Stumbled up this piadineria while walking around town. Located on a side street (always a good local sign), full of customers munching on the local favorites. The flavor of the scamorza, rucola and crudo were spot-on, but the homemade piadina could have been better… it tasted a little dry.
2) Montecarlo- (All-Inclusive Meal): The piadina was not homemade and the cheese was too salty. Was not impressed with the most expensive piadina in the area.
3) Emy’s- 5,00: Pointed in the local direction, I hit the jackpot. The piadina was served hot and the texture was soft. The ingredients were super fresh- crudo just sliced off the bone, cheese served cold and the rucola had a nice sharpness to it- seriously awesome. Hands down, my favorite.
OVERALL: Even though the ingredients were the same in each piadina, there were significant differences in the actual flatbread… as well as the scamorza cheese (due to the salt content). As mentioned by Wikipedia, the dough in Riccione is rolled out a bit thinner so there were slight variations based on each baker. And I could taste a significant difference in the flavor of the piadina as well as the texture when the piadina was prepared fresh off the griddle vs. the pre-made versions. However, now that I’m no longer in the area, I have a feeling that I will have a hard time eating piadinas ANYWHERE outside of Romagna…