If you ever visit my home town of Perugia or its surrounding region, Umbria, this is a dish that I particularly recommend you try. Although torta usually means cake, this particular torta is more like a pizza: a simple water and flour dough is flattened and baked on the testo, a round slab of refractory material that is put on the coals beforehand to make it very hot. This is very much a dish of cucina casareccia (family-style cooking) and different families have recipes with slightly different variations.
The best way to eat the torta is right off the testo, cut into wedges while still hot, and stuffed with slices of prosciutto crudo. The heat of the torta warms up the prosciutto whose fat, as a result, becomes translucent. The combination is delicious beyond words.
In other parts of Umbria torta al testo is referred to with different names: for example, in the Gubbio area it is called crescia and the testo is called panaro. On this page there is a photo of a wedge of torta al testo col prosciutto.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post (including a rendition of the accent my voice would have if I were to pronounce the words in Perugia):
or launch the torta al testo audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]