If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, you have most likely come across two popular dishes on an Italian restaurant menu: calzone and stromboli. Although these dishes may seem similar at first glance, there are distinct differences between them that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the characteristics and origins of calzone and stromboli, shedding light on their unique traits and highlighting the key differences between the two.
Calzone and stromboli are both considered folded or rolled pizzas. However, their differences lie in their origin, preparation, and fillings. Let's start by exploring the origins and history of these delicious Italian creations.
The calzone, which means "trouser" or "pant leg" in Italian, is believed to have originated in Naples, Italy. It is believed that the name "calzone" comes from the fact that the folded shape of the dish resembles a pair of pants or leggings. This dish was originally created as a convenient way for workers to enjoy a meal on the go, similar to a sandwich. It was easy to carry and eat without needing a plate and utensils.
On the other hand, stromboli is named after the Stromboli volcano, located on the small island of Stromboli in Italy. It is believed that this dish was created by Italian immigrants in the United States during the 1950s. The immigrants were inspired by their homeland's cuisine and created a dish that represented the flavors and ingredients of Italy.
Despite their common origin in Italy, calzone and stromboli differ significantly in terms of their preparation and fillings. Calzone is typically made with pizza dough, which is rolled out into a circle and then folded in half, creating a pocket or a semicircular shape. It is filled with various ingredients such as mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and a variety of meats and vegetables. The filling is then sealed within the dough to prevent it from spilling out during baking. Calzone is usually baked in an oven until the dough is golden brown and crispy.
On the other hand, stromboli starts with a rectangular or square piece of pizza dough that is stretched out. The dough is then layered with various fillings, similar to a sandwich. Typical fillings for stromboli include Italian cold cuts, such as salami, pepperoni, ham, and provolone cheese. The dough is rolled tightly around the fillings to create a log-like shape or cylinder. It is then baked until the dough turns golden brown and the fillings are heated through.
One of the key differences between calzone and stromboli lies in the way they are served. Calzone is often served as a single serving, similar to a pizza. It is typically cut into individual portions and served with marinara sauce or tomato sauce on the side for dipping. Stromboli, on the other hand, is often served as a larger dish, meant to be shared among a group. It is usually sliced into smaller pieces and served with a side of marinara sauce or even a garlic butter dip.
Another significant difference between the two dishes is the texture and taste. Calzone has a crispier texture due to the folded dough, while stromboli has a chewier texture because the dough is rolled around the fillings. Calzone tends to have a more straightforward flavor profile, with a combination of ingredients similar to a pizza. Stromboli, on the other hand, is known for its stronger and more pronounced flavors, thanks to the variety of cold cuts and cheeses used in the fillings.
In conclusion, while calzone and stromboli share similarities in their folded or rolled pizza-like appearance, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Calzone originated in Naples, Italy, and is made by folding pizza dough in half, while stromboli was created by Italian immigrants in the United States and is made by rolling dough around Italian cold cuts. Calzone is typically served as an individual dish, while stromboli is often shared among a group. The texture and taste of the two dishes also differ, with calzone having a crispier texture and a simpler flavor, and stromboli boasting a chewier texture and stronger flavors.
Regardless of the differences, both calzone and stromboli are delicious Italian dishes that provide a portable, convenient, and tasty way to enjoy the flavors of Italy. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a calzone or the robust flavors of a stromboli, these dishes are sure to satisfy your craving for authentic Italian cuisine. So, next time you find yourself at an Italian restaurant, don't miss the chance to try both calzone and stromboli and discover your favorite!