The Piadina Romagnola is a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and a typical culinary specialty of Emilia Romagna, encapsulating centuries of tradition and gastronomic wisdom. This unleavened flatbread, filled with a rich variety of ingredients, continues to captivate the palates of Italians and pique the interest of international consumers. In this article, we will delve into the rich history of the Piadina Romagnola, beginning from the heart of the provinces of Rimini, Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna, and Bologna, and then exploring its growing appeal in international markets.

Origine e tradizione della Piadina Romagnola

The history of Piadina (or Piada) is steeped in authenticity and passion. Over the centuries, this simple food has represented the essence of rustic and rural life, becoming an emblematic product of this land. The term "piada" was coined by the renowned poet of Romagnola origin, Giovanni Pascoli, who introduced it into the Italian language, making Piadina an unmistakable icon of Romagna. However, its origins trace back to much earlier times. Even during the Etruscan period and later the Roman era, traces of a round-shaped bread substitute made from coarse flour and grains can be found, often consumed with cheese, foreshadowing the combinations and recipes of today.

The tradition of Piadina continued to evolve over the centuries, transforming from a mere bread substitute into a delectable alternative. The 1970s marked a turning point when Piadina, once exclusively prepared at home, began to be crafted by artisans and eventually adapted to industrial production. Small artisanal workshops were inspired by the success of this unique product, started to produce on a larger scale, supplying both Italian and international markets with their delicacies.

To preserve its tradition, institutions and businesses located in the traditional areas of Romagna (the provinces of Rimini, Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna, and Bologna) joined forces in the Consortium for the Promotion and Protection of the Piadina Romagnola IGP. This collaboration bore fruit in 2014 when the prestigious designation of "Indicazione Geografica Protetta" (IGP) was obtained. This recognition is of paramount importance as it ensures the protection and promotion of this delicacy.

Expansion in International Markets

One of the most striking successes of the Consortium's work is the internationalization of Piadina Romagnola. In 2022 alone, 24,677,140 kg of Piadina were produced, a clear sign of its impact on Italian gastronomy. However, export data more vividly exemplify the product's success.

In 2022, 514,903 kg of Piadina Romagnola IGP were exported to various foreign countries, showcasing a growing interest from international markets. The primary recipients of this Italian delicacy include Germany, Poland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, the United States of America, and Switzerland. The Padina Romagnola has crossed Italian borders and captured the hearts of many nations around the world.

The Activities of the Consortium for the Promotion and Protection of Piadina Romagnola IGP

The Consortium for the Promotion and Protection of Piadina Romagnola IGP has a clearly defined mission: to preserve and promote both the classic and Riminese variations of Piadina Romagnola, ensuring that production adheres to the specifications and traditional recipe. Currently, the consortium brings together a total of 12 companies, including entities of various sizes, ranging from artisanal businesses to industrial enterprises and local kiosks in the Romagna regions.

The organization, through its steadfast commitment, conducts market analyses and participates in events and exhibitions both in Italy and abroad, aiming to expand awareness of this culinary treasure among consumers and create new market opportunities. A recent example is the consortium's participation in the Anuga fair in Cologne, Germany, held from October 7 to October 11, 2023.

In addition to promotional activities, the consortium is actively engaged in protective actions to combat counterfeiting attempts in various parts of the world. This proactive defense helps ensure that only authentic Piadina Romagnola reach foreign markets. To perform this function effectively, the organization participates in the European project "Choose the European friendship", co-financed by the European Union, which aims to enhance knowledge of EU Geographical Indications through specific communication campaigns in Italy and Germany. This project further broadens the international awareness horizon of Romagnola Piadina.

This content has been created in collaboration with the Consortium for the Promotion and Protection of Piadina Romagnola IGP.

President: Alfio Biagini
Headquarters: Piazza Leopoldo Tosi, 4 - 47923 Rimini
Phone: +39 0541 760227 / +39 366 1136514

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