What We’re Eating: Carta da Musica

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One of our favorite items on this month’s Regional Menu at Pricci is the Insalata of Blood Orange, Saved Fennel, Lolla Rossa Lettuce, Roasted Sardinian Olives, Carta da Musica, and Fiore Sardo Cheese.

It’s not just that this salad is terrifically seasonal- of course we love the top-of-season blood oranges and the crispy fennel bulb, but what we love most is that this dish is rooted in history. The literal translation for “Carta da Musica” is “Sheet Music”, named because the dough is supposed to be rolled so thin that one can read sheet music through the finished flat bread.

We didn’t have any sheet music lying around at our taste test, but the crisp, light-as-air bread was indeed thin enough to see through yet sturdy enough to hold the weight of the perfect bite: an olive, a blood orange, and a slice of fennel.

The bread is made simply with flour, semolina, salt, and warm water. Carta da Musica is intentionally unleavened for increased shelf life, as migrant farmers used to carry several pounds of Carta da Musica with them to round out the usually three or four ingredient meals they would eat while camping.