Pane carasau’s origins have been traced to the Nuragic Age, circa 1900-730 BCE, remains of the bread were found in archaeological excavations of nuraghes (traditional Sardinian stone buildings). Because of its long storage life (it can last up to one year if it is kept dry), pane carasau was once a staple food of Sardinian shepherds during their trips to mountain pastures.
In the Sardinian language, the entire preparation process and cooking phases of pane carasau are called Sa Cotta; in the island tradition Sa Cotta has always been a moment of togetherness and participation, in which family members and even the neighbourhood were involved. The recipe for carasau bread, as well as its preparation method, have been handed down from generation to generation up to the present day.
It is popularly called carta (da) musica in Italian, meaning "sheet music", in reference to its large and paper-thin shape, which is said to be so thin before cooking that a sheet of music can be read through it.
Pane carasau is also used for preparing another classic of the Sardinian cuisine called pane frattau, a lasagna-style dish made with crispy sheets of carasau that are soaked in hot water, then layered with tomato sauce and pecorino Sardo cheese.