One of the most exciting parts of travel is immersing yourself in the local culture. And, one of the best ways to do that is with food. Whether you are thinking about your bucket list trip or want to reminisce about a trip you’ve already taken, preparing that local flavor at home can really hit the spot. Here in Italy, this is classic Italian street food – la piadina!
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Sugar, Spice and Everything in Between
Do you like sweet, spicy or salty? Whatever your go-to crave is, a piadina has got it covered……literally! A piadina is a thin, rustic Italian flatbread sandwich, made of some of the most basic ingredients, which you likely always have on hand. Originating from the Emilia Romagna region, “la piadina” is one of the traditional regional foods in this area of northern Italy, world famous for its food and wine. I’ve spent a great deal of time in this region’s capital, Bologna. It’s where my husband grew up and where my mother-in-law and I have spent countless hours going through old family recipes.
Any time you visit Italy
Nowadays, any time you visit Italy, and in whichever of the 20 regions of Italy you may find yourself, you’ll find the piadina. Venice is in Veneto, the region just north of Emilia Romagna. When you walk into gam gam goodies, our kosher bakery/pizzeria a few doors down from GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant, you’ll often hear someone ordering a piadina. Read on to find out what what you eat in a piadina! Similar to a wrap or tortilla, you can fill a piadina with whatever suits your tastes. Here are three of my favorite piadina fillings:
Making a Piadina Pizza is super easy. Choose your favorite sauce and cheese. Then, spread them on a baked piadina. Add seasonings like fresh basil and oregano, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Heat this open-faced piadina in an oven or in a pan on the stove top until the cheese is melted.
Piadina with Chocolate and Fresh Strawberries
Whether you choose white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate, you can’t go wrong. You can use a ready make creamy chocolate spread or make your own. My Best Ever Chocolate Mousse is perfect for this. You can get that recipe here: https://rebbetzinunplugged.com/best-ever-chocolate-mousse/
Using a large spoon or spatula, spread a generous portion of chocolate on a piadina. Then add fresh cut strawberries on top. Like the piadina pizza, this can be eaten open-faced, or folded in half. Feel free to add a mix of fruits, such as peaches, forest berries, pear or whichever are the seasonal fruits in your area.
If you want to step up your vegetable intake, the Veggie Piadina is a delicious way! Choose a good quality extra virgin olive oil. Then, in a sauté pan, cook your favorite combination of vegetables, such as red & yellow pepper strips, zucchini, Roma tomato halves, mushrooms, onions, carrot ribbons or eggplant.
Load your veggies in a horizontal line on the piadina, add seasonings and extra virgin olive oil to your liking. To create a barrier to prevent the vegetables from falling out, fold in the left and right sides of the piadina just a bit. Then, from the side closest to you, begin to fold the piadina over the vegetables. Halfway, tighten the roll if necessary. Continue rolling until the piadina is completely closed.
Here’s my four ingredient recipe for homemade piadina. https://rebbetzinunplugged.com/4-ingredient-recipe-for-homemade-flour-tortilla-wraps-in-just-30-minutes/
Tip: If you are packing this in a lunchbox or to take on a trip, wrap a napkin around the piadina first, then wrap well with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. This will prevent the piadina from getting soggy.
Are you ready for some Italian Street Food? Which of your favorite fillings would you put in a piadina? I can’t wait to read your comments below!
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