TIGELLA or CRESCENTINA
Crescentina, crescenta or tigella (plural: crescentine, crescenti or tigelle) is the name of a thin, 4-inch round shaped bread which originated from the Apennines in the Modena and Bologna area (Emilia Romagna region, Northern Italy) but today you can find them all over the mountains between Emilia and Tuscany.
Tigelle are traditionally enjoyed filled in with the typical cunza, a spread made from pork lard and flavoured with garlic and rosemary, but cunza can be replaced with a choice of cold cuts, pancetta, cheese, salty dressings or sweet spreads.
The term tigella derives from a latin word which means cover. Indeed tigella was originally the name of the terracotta disc in which the bread, called crescenta or crescentina, was cooked in by putting discs and the mixture of ingredients wrapped in chestnut leaves one upon the other in a pile in the fireplace not too near the flames.
In the Modena area the most popular name is still Crescentina but in the rest of Italy it is most used the name Tigella thanks to some national franchisings that are selling this amazing product in the most important cities. In the 2016 La Gazzetta di Modena, the most popular newspaper in Modena, organized a poll asking what’s the favourite name for the readers. The final result has been: 64% Crescentine, 36% Tigelle.
The “gnocco fritto” is the fried version of the Tigelle with some baking soda added to the dough. The perfect combination for a meal for one person is 3 Tigelle (light) or 5 Tigelle (normal) maybe with a glass of a good Lambrusco.