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The Glorious History of the Utterly Delicious Calzone

Dec 23, 2020 | Press

We all know about pizza, but there is much to be discovered in pizza’s equally delicious cousin: the calzone. In some places, it is called a stuffed or folded pizza. The name itself is an Italian word that may refer to stockings or pant legs. The word, directly translated, means “hanging fold.” It is a beloved dish across the world, and has become a staple in many Italian restaurants everywhere. 

The Origins of the Calzone

Like pizza, calzoni (the proper plural form in Italian) were first made in Naples, Italy in the 18th century. It was initially created as a more portable form of the pizza. Traditional calzone, however, are probably a lot smaller than the ones we see today. After all, in Italy, calzones and pizzas were often made to serve one person. 

In America, the dish has evolved to US standards. Pizzas and calzones are bigger and often topped with a blend of garlic, olive oil, and marinara sauce. These experienced a boom in popularity after their appearance in popular TV shows like Seinfeld in 1996 and Parks and Recreation in 2014. 

How it is Made

Calzones are made by rolling a pizza crust, adding a filling, and folding part of the crust over the filling until everything is perfectly sealed. They are then baked in an oven until crispy and brown. While pizza dough is normally what is used to make calzone, it is quite possible to make them with bread dough and pie crust. 

It is important, however, to roll the crust out evenly and to use only the right amount of stuffing. This is to prevent the calzone from bursting as it bakes. 

The stuffing can be anything you think of, like chicken, pepperoni, and beef. Italians even sometimes make them with leftovers. You can even make variations for every meal of the day, like stuffing it with scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. When it’s done, serve it with a dipping sauce like marinara or a mixture of sour cream and mustard. 

The Pitoni Messinesi

This is another kind of calzone that is deep-fried instead of being baked. Also known as the pidoni, these pockets of deliciousness are made in Messina, Sicily. The Puglia region produces a fried calzone filled with prosciutto cotto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. 

What characterizes this calzone is the unique filling combination of finely chopped curly escarole, cherry tomatoes, anchovies in oil, and various cheeses (such as tuma, provola, or caciocavallo). Mozzarella is also sometimes used, but it is nowhere near fitting for this dish as the other ones are. 

This is made by cutting all the ingredients into small pieces and adding it to the dough uncooked. The result is a filling that has a slight crunch to it, gooey melted cheese, and freshness from the cherry tomatoes. The occasional saltiness from the anchovies also adds depth to the whole meal!

Deep Fried Calzones at Joe’s Rotisseria

Try our take on the calzone at our Asbury location! We stuff our homemade crust with the toppings you want, fold it over, and fry until it’s hot, crispy, and ready to satisfy. Afterwards, we take it out and cover it in cheese and any sauces you desire!

Choose from our long list of toppings and put together the combination your taste buds are craving. Whether it’s chicken parm with a vodka sauce or classic pepperoni with marinara, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Just look at the deliciousness—how could you resist?

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of dishes from Italy that are delicious and easy to make, and the calzone is just one of them. This dish in particular, however, can serve as a wonderful and hearty meal for anyone. It has all the flavors of pizzas, but it is easier to carry and take with you. 

If this article has made you hungry for Italian food in Roselle or Asbury Park, give us at Joe’s Rotisseria a call. We serve the best pizza and Italian food in New Jersey and are home to the famous Triple Threat™ created by our founder, Joe Brignoni. 


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