Crunchy or soft, sweet or savoury, toasted or even cold; very well-known all around the world, versatile and suitable for many different meals, what is mainly called pitta bread has a lot of different variations all around the world. For this reason, we have decided to separate our I·ATE Food Term of the Week into two editions; here you will find the first part examining wraps, burritos and more.
In Italy, in a central region called Emilia Romagna, we find the delicious piadina. Its precise origins are unknown, but it used to be prepared long ago by poor families, due to its versatility and the fact that it can be made using just water, flour and salt. Nowadays, lard is added to the dough, and a little bit of baking soda; the recipe has spread from Emilia Romagna to the whole peninsula, and local versions of piadina can be found in any Italian region.
You can have piadina for breakfast, filled with jam or Nutella, but its most common version is as a popular street food. Fast and easy to prepare, it is a perfect on-the-go snack. It can be stuffed with many different ingredients according to one’s tastes: usually, you can have it with fresh local cold cuts, fresh cheese and vegetables like rocket, courgettes or aubergines. The dough is bent in half, toasted and then served. Mouth-watering!
Be it filled, wrapped around rice beans and meat, or flat toasted with oozing cheese in the middle, the wheat flour tortilla is a staple in Mexican cuisine and can be found in many dishes around the country, with its popularity also reaching far beyond Mexico’s borders and probably exceeding it.
This Mexican, tortilla-based dish is quite simple to make though it can be adapted and modified to please the most elaborate of palates. In essence, this dish is made up of two layered tortillas with cheese in the middle which is then grilled until the cheese has melted into a gooey heaven. It is then oftentimes cut into quarters and topped with salsa, guacamole or chilis.
However, different versions of this dish include the addition of other ingredients such as meats like chorizo, chicken and pork, or vegetables to the cheese in addition to the toppings added later.
In some cases, a half quesadilla is done using one wheat tortilla which is folded in half instead of having two tortillas.
It is also possible to find dessert quesadillas with fruit, chocolate or caramel.
Image credits: collegerecipes.com
Similarly to other wheat flour tortilla-based dishes found in other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East, the burrito consists of a close-ended cylinder shaped tortilla wrap, where the only thing that is different is the filling.
The burrito gets its name from the Spanish meaning ‘little donkey’, as a diminutive form of ‘burro’ meaning donkey, which could possibly refer to the appearance of the packs that donkeys had to carry.
This typical Mexican dish is usually filled with a combination of ingredients, but almost always includes rice, beans, vegetables, a sauce such as salsa, sour cream or the avocado-based guacamole and some kind of meat, unless it is a vegetarian wrap.
Burritos come in different shapes and sizes and often vary in origin. In fact, over the years there have been some additions or modifications to the original burrito such as the chimichanga or the wet burrito.
The chimichanga was in fact an invention by accident when a restaurant owner accidentally dropped a burrito into a deep fryer.
Another variety of the burrito is the ‘wet burrito’, ‘smothered’, ‘enchilada style’ or ‘mojado’ which is Spanish for wet. In this adaptation of the classic, the standard burrito is served on a plate instead of the usual tin foil, where it is hand-held. The wet burrito is called so due to the sauce and cheese that it is smothered in. In fact, it is topped with chili sauce and melted, shredded cheese.
Image credits: food.ndtv.com
The word wrap is used in English-speaking countries to denote a flatbread folded to entirely surround its filling. This is where the name comes from and the type of bread used is usually a wheat-flour tortilla. Although the exact origins of the wrap are not clear, the Americans are often credited with being the inventors of this dish. Traditionally, a wrap contains cold fillings and is served and eaten cold. Typically, a wrap consists of a meat, some salad or vegetables, and a sauce. Popular choices include chicken, bacon, lettuce, peppers and mayonnaise. However, the ingredients vary and can be changed to suit different people’s tastes.
Dürüm follows the same basic concept as a wrap and is normally described simply as a Turkish wrap. However, it differs in a few basic ways from what many of us would consider a standard or average wrap. For example, the type of bread is different as lavash and yufka flatbreads are typically used. Similarly, the normal filling for Dürüm is doner kebab meat, but chicken and shish kebab are also common. An important element of this meal is the thickness of the bread as it must be thick enough to absorb the juices of the meat while also being thin enough that it stays easy to eat.
Image credits: Pinterest
We hope you enjoyed this short culinary trip around the world!
Feel free to add comments about your local version of this dish.
Have a nice weekend, and join us next week for the second part of this I·ATE Food Term of the Week!
- Piadina Romagnola, full recipe. Available here [accessed on 10/11/17].
- Who invented the wrap?, Delish. Available here [accessed on 10/11/17].
- Wrap (food), Wikipedia. Available here [accessed on 10/11/17].
- What is Dürüm?, Sirkeci Restaurants. Available here [accessed on 10/11/17].
- Quesadilla, Wikipedia. Available here [accessed on 10/11/2017]
- Burrito, Wikipedia. Available here [accessed on 10/11/2017]
Liam Kennedy – Schuman Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. Graduate of Journalism with a Language (French) at Dublin Institute of Technology. Currently completing a Masters in Translation Studies at University College Cork;
Veronica Lynn Mizzi – Schuman Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. Graduate in the Maltese Language and Communication, and Master’s graduate in Translation and Terminology Studies from the University of Malta;
Carolina Quaranta – Schuman Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. Student of Master in Public and Political Communication in the University of Torino, Italy; journalist.