Piadina flatbread originates from the Italian region of Romagna. This region is near Tuscany and dishes like cappelletti (stuffed pasta) and excellent Sangiovese grape wines also come from this region, but the best-known product is without a doubt piadina.
This type of bread was once the daily food of the lower classes in Romagna. When made with flour, lard, salt and water, it was within the reach of even the most humble citizens. Traditionally, women prepared it upon returning from work in the fields and it could be filled with meat, cold cuts, vegetables or even eaten by itself.
Today in Romagna, a very creamy cheese called squacqueron is typically eaten with piadina, and if we move closer to the regions near the sea, it is accompanied by small seasoned fish, but any food pairs well with this bread.
The defining ingredient in this type of bread is lard, which distinguishes it from other flat breads. The lard is obtained from a specific breed of pig, the Mora Romagnola, which gives a special flavor to the piadina. However, the most important step in the making of this bread is baking. The bread is made on flat terracotta dishes and heated 200 degrees Celsius. The teglie (as these terracotta dishes are known) are never washed, but cleaned with a brush made of branches.
The preparation is very simple: the ingredients (flour, lard, salt and water) are mixed and kneaded for a few minutes. It is let sit for half an hour and later stretched with a rolling pin, forming flat discs that are then cooked in the fire, on teglie. It must then be cooked for several minutes on each side, resulting in a crusty bread and that's hard on the outside but with a soft, tender center.
Now that you know make piadina, what will you fill it with?