Torta al testo umbra, authentic Italian street food
Torta al testo umbra is one of the finest examples of traditional street food, coming from an Italian heritage just waiting to be discovered, and originating in the Roman age. The “torta” owes its name to the “testum”, after the clay tile on which it was cooked in ancient times. It is a recipe intended as a substitute for bread, and was ideal for taking along to work in the fields, during grape or grain harvests, and could satisfy the biggest appetite even without a filling.
The original method passed down over the years involves making a dough of flour, water, yeast and salt, and shaping it into a round before cooking it on the “testi”, cast iron plates about 3cm thick. This is a very old technique that goes by different names and traditions throughout the Umbria region: for example in Gubbio it is called “crescia” and is traditionally made near the fireplace, while in Val Tiberina it is known as “ciaccia”.
This is a delicious dish that is quick and easy to eat, and is usually filled with: stracchino and rocket, sausage and wild greens, or ham and cheese. It is a classic “umbra” snack and is also popular as a regular holiday event, enjoyed on the banks of Lake Trasimeno.