What is Piadina?

What is Piadina?

Whether you're strolling the cobblestoned streets of Ravenna or the beachside boardwalk of Rimini, you might notice the locals snacking on a folded flatbread, stuffed with salumi, fresh cheeses, dark leafy greens, and more. Meet the piadina, a round flatbread from Romagna, and beloved up and down the Adriatic coast.

WHAT IS PIADINA?

Piadina is a round flatbread hailing from the Romagna side of Emilia-Romagna (yup, there is a difference – both in geography and culinary traditions!). Piadina has been a staple on the Romagnolo table for centuries, cooked on a hot griddle, then folded and filled with salumi, fresh cheeses, and more. It is typically enjoyed as street food or at the beach, and it is even served with every meal in place of bread.

The tasty flatbread is traditionally made with just a few simple ingredients: flour, lard or oil, a pinch of salt, and possibly a small amount of baking soda. A classic of cucina povera, the piadina turns the most humble ingredients into something satisfying and delicious – the wafting scent of piadina cooking on a hot griddle is enough to make anyone fall for it.

TAKE A TRIP DOWN THE COAST

All along the Adriatic coast, you might notice brightly colored and striped chioschi, or kiosks, with lines of hungry customers snaking from the window. These piadinerie (literally, piadina stands) serve beach-goers and gourmands alike, each fiercely loyal to their kiosk of choice.

As you travel from north to south in the Romagna region, you’ll find that the thickness of piadina gets progressively thinner the farther south you go. The piadina from Ravenna tends to be tall and fluffy, while that of Rimini is wide and thin. The Rimini style is called sfogliata, or "rolled out," and is made of several overlapping layers of dough. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference (or perhaps geographical allegiance) – the best piadina thickness is the one you like!

piadina Fresco Piada

HOW TO SERVE PIADINA

So, how do you build the ultimate piadina? First things first: get your piadina nice and hot! Make sure to warm it up on a cast iron skillet or griddle until it's piping hot. The texture should stay soft and pliable, yet the bread should be warmed through.

When ready, slide the piadina onto your plate and start building: begin with paper-thin slices of prosciutto crudo (choose your favorite, or try the delicate and sweet Prosciutto di Carpegna DOP, produced nearby to the Romagna region). Next, add a fresh, creamy cheese like squaquarello, stracchino, or robiola to complement the salty salumi.

Next, produce: a classic combination is prosciutto, mozzarella, e rucola – the fresh arugula adds crunch and a peppery kick. Or, slice up fresh figs or peaches and enjoy with cheese and arugula for a salty-sweet vegetarian option.

Of course, it wouldn't be an Italian summer lunch without a glass of vino to pair. Try a dry, sparkling Lambrusco from Emilia-Romagna to complement the rich fats and salty flavors, or go with a glass of Fiano, a refreshing Southern white that boasts notes of melon and pear.

prosciutto-piadina

Ready to dig in? Get at taste of authentic piadina from Fresco Piada at your local Eataly or get it delivered with Instacart! This August, you'll find the classic Rimini-style piadina from Fresco Piada in our market, plus all of our DOP prosciutti crudi, so that you can build your own piadina at home.

Buon appetito!

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