Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Calzone: more than just a ‘folded pizza’

Calzone: more than just a ‘folded pizza’
It gets its name from a trouser leg or stocking, based on its shape. But while the look of a calzone can’t be mistaken for a pizza, many people think it’s just that – a pizza folded over, with the topping all on the inside.

True, a calzone often features many ingredients of a great pizza, including tomatoes, mozzarella and vegetables. Even the dough is pretty much the same, featuring simply flour, yeast, olive oil, water and. But thanks to their unique ‘half-moon’ shape, the cooking and eating experience is totally different.

A large hearty pizza is designed to be shared and enjoyed one slice at a time, usually sat at a table. Perfectly hand-sized, the calzone is an ideal meal for one, eaten on the fly when there’s little time to stop. And unlike a pizza, they can also be fried, with no need for a fancy stone oven, knocking precious minutes off the cooking time. Just what you need at lunchtimes.

Like any Italian dish, there are regional variations. For example fried calzone from Puglia is known as panzeroti and the Sicilians take the design a step further by stuffing the dough onions or potatoes, braiding the seal and calling it a cuddiruni.

And of course, America has its own take on calzone too, albeit more of a free-for all when it comes to ingredients. The dish often pronounced cal-zone, instead of the Italian kahl-tzo-nay. You of course, now know better.