Many foods dominate the menus of various Italian restaurants. Spaghetti, lasagna, and, perhaps the most popular of them all, pizza. But there’s one item – an enigma so strange that it’s become popular on many Italian-American menus – that you might see being carried down the sidewalk by a random citizen. What you see being carried is simply known as the calzone or, if you wish to get technical about it, the handheld pizza. It’s a food item you’ve more than likely seen before; it’s been around for ages. But what’s the history of the calzone? Where did it come from and how did it come about?
That’s right. The calzone came from the lovely Southern Italian city of Naples. Not surprised? Of course not; most Italian foods originate from – you guessed it – Italy. What might be surprising, though, is how old it is.
Although no specific date is determined, the history of the calzone goes back as far as the 18th century. Its moon-shaped design is believed to come from a pizza that was folded over and indicates that they weren’t meant to be eaten with utensils. In Italy, they’re typically sold by street vendors. Their pizza-like dough allows them to be portable and eaten on the go.
Calzones are traditionally stuffed with cheese, tomatoes, and marinara. But much like the pizza, any sort of toppings can be added inside the calzone. There are also many variations of it (the Philly cheesesteak calzone, as one example).
It’s very likely that the calzones made back in 18th century Naples were much smaller than today’s modern American ones. Some American Italian restaurants today will sell calzones that are big enough to feed a whole family. American Calzones will also usually be topped with garlic, herbs, and olive oil. They are also served sometimes with a side of marinara dipping sauce.
They look the same, but they’re not the same. Strombolis are an American invention that came about back in the 1950s. They share similar ingredients but a stromboli’s ingredients are layered on a sheet of pizza dough and then rolled up into a rectangle. They are usually oven-baked or fried. Calzones are only oven-baked and are typically bigger.
If you’re looking to fill yourself with the finest calzone, or any Italian food for that matter, come on down to Cannoli Kitchen in Boca Raton. We offer a wide selection of traditional Italian foods for you to choose from and enjoy. For delivery, call us at 561-955-8880 or visit our “order online” page HERE.