Described as an “unleavened bread” baked on red-hot plates as far back as 1200 BC, were probably the Etruscans to teach the Italian local populations how to cook cereals, influencing even the first Roman gastronomy.
In the fourth century BC, when the cultivation of wheat replaced the other cereals and the first leavened bread appeared, the preparation of focaccia and Piade was strongly reduced, but nevertheless the preparation of unleavened Piade remained one of the foods preferred by the Romans, remaining a fundamental element both of the banquets of the wealthier and of religious ceremonies, as well as a great food that you can keep while traveling.
With the fall of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Barbarian Invasions, many of the eating habits of the people of the peninsula were changed without being completely upset. The cultivation of cereals was, in fact, a fundamental element of the agricultural production of large masses of people as well as the production of bread. Thus it was that in the years of the plague, around the year 1300, the peasant class no longer had the economic chance of eating leavened bread and returned to the consumption of polenta, barley flours and unleavened cakes produced with a mixture of cereals less valuable, with dried legumes and acorns.
The first known historical document that speaks of the “Piada” dates back to 1371; the term was in fact found within the description of Romagna compiled by Cardinal Angelico, in which among the tributes that the city of Modigliana had to pay to the Apostolic Chamber were 2 “Piade”.
The arrival of the Renaissance saw the flowering of the courts, the Lordships and the culinary art necessary to cheer the palates of the great noble banquets. This was the time in which were formed the great cooks like that Christopher of Messisbugo who will make the cuisine of the Este Family in Ferrara famous and which, combined with the spread of wheat cultivation and leavening of bread, will for centuries relegate the preparation of Piada to the moments of famine and to the poorer social classes.
It was at the beginning of the 20th century that Piada had a great revival thanks above all to the corn flour which, mixed with soft wheat flour, allowed to obtain excellent results at low cost.
The girls already at the age of five or six learned to pull the dough and cook the fragrant Piadine in the text, stuffing them with the traditional homemade salami, the grilled sausage, the boiled cabbage seasoned with oil, garlic, and rosemary.
Having become a popular food, Piadina, along with other Romagna specialties, began to conquer even the tourists who arrived in Romagna in the 40s and 50s and the first kiosks began to appear along the roads that led to the sea and to the seaside villages.
This was the period in which Piada became renowned throughout Italy, being definitively identified with the land of Romagna and with the holidays times.