This Is Crescia Not Piadina
Piadina from Romagna is well know all over the world. Perhaps not everyone knows Crescia from Marche. It is very similar to the famous Piadina Romagnola but it has some extra ingredient on it, such as eggs and pepper. In Marche region Crescia is often the substitute of bread. It can be eat stuffed or even with nothing inside because it’s very flavorful. Crescia is good as piadina and for most Italian maybe ever more. There is also another kind of Crescia from Marche region called Ester Crescia or cheese Crescia but it is totally a different product, with a different consistence, shape and taste.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
Crescia and Piadina are very similar. They share almost all of the ingredients and recipe. Both have flour, lard, water and salt. Crescia in add has eggs, milk and pepper, no yeast and time of cooking is more. Both are usually stuffed with all of the best known italian salami and a couple of several cheese. Piadina is usually stuffed with a soft cheese such as “scquacquerone”, while usually Crescia has hard cheese in it. In particular “caciotta” or “pecorino” cheese. Piadina and Crescia are both good as bread. Even If they belong to different regions, they came from the same geographical area. Crescia comes from the north of Marche region while Piadina comes from the South of the Emilia Romagna. These two region are in fact very close. Moreover the ancient story of the Crescia tell us that the Byzantine army that occupied Romagna, Marche and Umbria used to eat this particular bread called Crescia or Piadina. So they share the same historical origin.
Crescia from Marche: an historic challenge with piadina
Foodies from Marche historically considered Crescia older then the famous Piadina. Some of them says the invention is due to a young baker girl from Urbino at the Dukes of Montefeltro court. The city of Urbino during the Renaissance lived a historical moment of particular splendor especially in art and literature. The Doge’s Palace of Federico from Montefeltro was the epicenter of it all. In fact the legend of the Crescia is connected precisely with it. The girl was looking at the sun hidden among the towers of the palace when decided to make a flat bread of round shape such as the sun.
Thick or thin always similar to a gold disc
Crescia is similar to a golden disc, it could be thick or thin and the ingredients to make it are: flour, milk, eggs, lard and pepper. To make the dough you have to mix all the ingredients together and then work the dough with a rolling pin. The dough should be soft and smooth. The traditional Crescia need to be work with lard but there is an alternative version for vegan people too. Instead of the lard you can use vegetable margarine. The lard or the margarine go inside the dough but also on top. So, after creating the dough disc, you can brush the top of the Crescia with some lard or margarine. The dough is softly with lard and also lard conserved the Crescia much better. Otherwise without lard Crescia is harder and it need to be consumed very soon, even if it is still good.
Not only one kind of Crescia
As everybody known in Italy there are almost always a lot of version of the same recipe . Sometimes this is happen even from a family to another. Recipes in Italy are important as a family secret. So that’s happen for Crescia too and it’s for that reason that we can find and taste more than one version of the Crescia in the same region.
Same region, different Crescia
There are different kind of Crescia in Marche region. Pesaro and Fano have a thicker Crescia usually served with fries cabbages. Ancona preferred to fill the Crescia with field herbs such as chard or spinach. Crescia is also usually cook on the grill. Macerata has is own Crescia too, sometimes made with yellow flour . It is dressed with extra virgin olive oil and it is usually made with onion and rosmary. Moreover this kind of Crescia is stuffed with pork lard called “sfrigoli or grasselli”.
Crescia “sfogliata” from Urbino
His name is Crescia sfogliata or “crostolo” and come from Urbino. It is thinner then the other and usually stuffed with sausages or spinach. It could be also made with brown flour instead of the white one. But it’s for sure that for all the Marche region there is one popular version of the Crescia and it is with cured meats such as prosciutto (from Carpegna city), lonza or salame. One of the best choice to serve Crescia is also with well seasoned cheese and field vegetables. The best way to cook the vegetables is in pan with garlic, oil and chili pepper.