Stromboli Part I: Interpretation

Stromboli, what is it? Or should I ask, what is your interpretation of Stromboli? I think we all have different opinions over what it truly is. Stromboli to me is a rolled up pizza minus the sauce and limited to lunch meats, cheese, and spinach. I was born in Boston, my mother’s parents from Sicily, and I grew up in South Jersey just outside of Philly so my interpretaion is based on those influences. My Italian girlfriends’ mothers all made their Stromboli the same way; dough rolled out into a rectangle stuffed with lunch meats-rarely Italian sausage or ground beef- cheese, rolled up and baked. Sauce rarely served on the side. Although, I had to start serving it on the side when I married Himself, he likes it that way. The only vegetable kind of Stromboli ever offered was spinach, never roasted veggies or any other veggies for that matter, that was saved for Calzones. Ah, now it is getting confusing.

Calzones are a what you may call a pizza turnover with any meat and veggie filling and includes ricotta as well as mozzarella or other Italian cheeses plus the sauce. I know, I know you are already trying to argue with me. You are spitting nails, thems fightin’ woids. Ya ya ya, like I said, we all have a different view of these things and I don’t think anyone is right on the matter, ‘cept me. Snort. I can see all the Giuseppes and Ginos along the East Coast going at it right now. And forget how those on the West Coast may interpret this matter. Sheesh. Let me mix it up even more for you. Panzaratti.

Panzarattis are folded in half pizzas, any topping and sauce, but no ricotta, then deep fried. You read me. Deep fried. These are definitely a South Jersey thing for sure. I can’t get anyone down here in VA to make me one. They look at me like I got two heads then tell me it will mess up their deep fryer. Yeah.

So tomorrow I will give you a tutorial of how I make what I think is Stromboli. It will be very detailed, over 30 photos. It’s the teacher in me and I’ve been making and messing these things up for over 15 years now, so I have a thing or two to say.

If you would like to join along go ahead and make your Artisan Bread in 5 Master Recipe right now, you’ll need it. You will also need lotsa sliced provolone, Genoa salami, one pound fresh baby spinach, fresh garlic, shredded Italian cheese blend, 28 ounce can tomato sauce, and some fresh basil and parsley. That will get you two Salami and one Spinach Stromboli. OK, you good? Good.

Let’s go into tomorrow with a clean slate, shall we? So go ahead and get it off you chest right now. What is your interpretation of the Stromboli, Calzone, and Panzaratti? Be nice and no hair pulling. See you here tomorrow. Aah-ite?

Related Posts:
Stromboli Part II: A How To Tutorial


  1. Sabrina
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    I don’t have a version ’cause I am from the south. I just eat whatever is set in front of me. Call it anything you like. I cannot wait until tomorrow. Yummmm!

  2. Joan Nova
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    First of all, I must tell you those photos made me drool. I’ll probably fall on the floor after looking at 30 more!

    These things are open to interpretation and, better yet, imagination. “Traditionally” to me, stromboli is similar in appearance but filled with pepperoni and cheese; calzone filled with ricotta and mozzarella (all white); and I’m not familiar with panzerottis. Definitely sound like artery-cloggers.

  3. recipes2share
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    I agree, I could skip on the name…these look fantastic!

  4. Lisa
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    Since i live in NJ, my names arte exactly like yours. I like sauce on the side too.

  5. Peter M
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    I want to go to a party where piles & piles of Stromboli are on offer. I think I just might throw a party with tons of stromboli!

  6. Sara
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    I agree with your definitions, although I’ve never heard of a panzaratti before. There’s a restaurant here that serves a piadine, which is a pizza crust topped with a salad. You fold it in half like a taco and eat with your hands.

  7. Linda
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Husbands family is from Abruzzi and friends family is from Sicily.
    In our city, we have many families whose 1st generation came from the southern part of Italy and Sicily.
    You are so right on with your descriptions for me! YUM…yes they are not good for you, maybe, but they are so good to eat!!
    Do you make pizza fritte as well?

  8. Rachael
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    They all sound SO good! I am so intrigued by this panzaratti thing! You said you CAN find it in South Jersey??

    My husband is a part-time pilot with the Air National Guard out of Atlantic City. He goes up to South Jersey to fly a couple of times a month and stays in that area….I wonder if he could find a panzaratti anywhere!! He would LOVE to eat one of those:-)

  9. Anonymous
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    The best Panzarattis are to be found in the little town of Maple shade,NJ which is next to Cherry Hill.

    They boast that they are the originator of the Panzaratti. Old pictures on the wall of this little hole in the wall joint go back to the ’40s. They are truly delicious. I always get mine filled with Italian Sausage. When you break open the crust a blast of steam ensues and the aroma is awsome.


  10. Lucy
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    Robin Sue, they look fantastic, no matter what name they can go by !!!

  11. Dawn
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    we love to call it pepperoni bread even though we add other things than pepperoni in it. I roll it up almost like a stromboli. Your pictures are making me very hungry for this!

  12. EAT!
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    I have some pizza dough in my refrigerator. Stromboli will be an afterschool snack for those kids who keep showing up at my house each afternoon.

  13. biz319
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Excellent lesson! You got everything right – my father in law is from Florence, came here when he was 15, and although my MIL is French Canadian, is an awesome Italian cook.

    Have you tried volpi salami – hands down my favorite salami.

    Thems good eats!

  14. Karen
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    I have no preconceived ideas about any of them. If it’s homemade dough with good stuff in it I don’t care if it’s rolled, folded, fried or left in the sun to bake… I’ll eat it! 🙂

  15. Sheila
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    I am with Karen, it is all the same to me. Whenever I hear stromboli I think of calzone. But now I learn they are different. They are all good, just the same!

    My stomach is growling; these look soooo good!

  16. Grace
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    how in the WORLD is it that i’ve never heard of or feasted on a panzaratti? me oh my. note to self–find a panzaratti and feast.

  17. Tanya
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Is it wrong that when I think of Stromboli I think of the bad guy from Disney’s Pinocchio? 🙂

    Can’t wait for the recipe! It looks delicious.

  18. Robin Sue
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Rachael- Tarantini’s boasts to be the original but they are in Camden, not a good area. But I think they have a store in Cherry Hill now?? Your husband can ask any locals and they can direct him to a good spot. My Dad thought there was a place in Maple Shade that has them too. But I remember most pizzerias in South NJ had them. I have made them at home, making them the size of a small hand pie and deep frying them, but better when eaten out.

    Sara- I have never had a piadine but I have had salad on top of my pizza which is very good.

    Biz319- I have never had volpi, so now I have something new to hunt down.

  19. Maria
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    Oh how tasty! I love the sauce too! That is the way to go!

  20. Lori
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    Your interpretations are pretty much my interpretations. The only thing I dont know about is panzerottis. Is it a thing from Jersy or is it really Italian?

    In any case what you got there is just drool worthy I tell yah! And that I can say with complete confidence.

  21. That Girl
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    The timing on this is just perfect. We went to an Italian restaurant on Tuesday night, and Thatboy pointed to the stromboli on the menu and asked what that was. After I explained to him what it was he ordered it, fell in love, and demands we go back for more next week.

  22. Diana
    Posted January 23, 2009 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Panzaratti, huh. I like that name so much better than “pizza rolls” which is what they were called where I grew up, in Canton, NY. Very popular just after last call among the college students. And to this day, when my sister visits, always has to stop at Sergi’s for her deep fried pizza delight before leaving town.

  23. Raiders757
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    Oh my, that looks really darn good.

    One thing though. Where I live in Va., everyone and every relocated family from NYC makes stromboli with the sauce inside.

    No matter, I really think I will enjoy making your version one day soon. I’m also curious about that panzaratti dish. That sounds like some serious grub.

    On the other hand, when I hear clazone, I think yuck. I am just not a fan of ricotta at all. There is a huge difference between a calzone and a stromboli, and they are not the same. I would be so let down(in a polite way) if I went to someones house and got a calzone after being told I was being served stromboli.

    Anyhow, thanks for the recipe, and wow, that looks great!

  24. Nicole
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    Okay. I am very familiar with the calzone. And funnily enough, while I LOVE pizza, I find the calzone just okay.

    I know OF stromboli but you know… I cannot be certain I have ever tried it. Odd. I sure looks good!

    And the Panzaratti??? Well ironically when IM-ing with my good friend from Milan, we got on the subject of food and she brought this up and I have been obsessing ever since! I MUST have this soon. Very very soon. I mean look at these photos!

  25. Ingrid
    Posted January 28, 2009 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Whatever you call it, whichever you make, I WANT it! Yum! I love Italian food, yes, the ones not served at Olive Garden. I grew up in NYC and had the joy of eating at small Mom & Pops' that served Italian food made by Italians, the kind that didn't speak English too well!

    Btw, I read your tutorial, next I'll watch the video & then I'm going to give it a try. THX!

    Oh, one more thing, congrats on making the finals over at Noble Pig! Sorry so long winded!

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