What is this Piada thing?
Why do I want to introduce you to it? The answer is pretty simple. It’s crazy good and it’s a street food that almost every one who grew up in my region ate, a lot! Don’t be influenced by its look, it’s not a tortilla or a pita, that you’re most likely used to… Piadina is something else.
As you can imagine it’s a poor food, invented as a substitute of the regular bread that in ancient times not everyone was able to eat. But man is full of resources.
You might hear people call it Piada or Piadina, we actually use either words interchangeably. Its from Emilia Romagna, typically from the part of the region called Romagna (to have an idea it includes the cities of Forli’, Cesena, Ravenna, Rimini).
However, just to clarify, here in America you may hear it be called “Italian flat bread.”
Depending on the location where it’s prepared it can be thick and soft or thin and crispier. I personally prefer the thick and soft version. Usually it’s stuffed with Italian salumi (salame, prosciutto, sausage, porchetta) and or veggies (bell peppers, onions, egg plant, zucchini) and cheese (like fontina and squaquerone). You can also find some creamy sauces like mushrooms and mascarpone sauce, mayo or even cocktail sauce — really good with fresh cut prosciutto and arugla. The filling varies and you can also build your own. Aaaaahhh, when you eat it warm, it’s an explosion of flavors!
I think everyone from my area has their own memories about Piadina. So easy to find, there are food trucks and kiosks everywhere even early in the morning, waiting for the people coming out from the nightclubs. When you feel hungry after a night with your friends, or at a city fair, or even traveling around Emilia Romagna, there they are, everywhere, to satisfy your appetite.
The basic recipe requires flour, lard or olive oil, salt and water, as the recent law attests, but depending on the location you can find it with different ingredients added (like milk, honey). Every family has their own recipe and I do also have my own version.
This is also a nice comfort food for me and I like to make it sometimes to fill the house of that good fragrant smell. Then hit it up and fill it with good ingredients (choose organic as much as you can, and look at the ingredients of packaged salami. If they have chemicals don’t buy them!). So good! Hopefully one day it will conquer the L.A. streets…
If you guys are interested you can check my recipe following this link: How to Make an Amazing Piada