Entry in progress—B.P.
Italian foods similar and often confused with panzarotti include the calzone, stromboli and hippie roll/eppie roll.
Panzarotti or panzerotti are filled pastries, different forms of which are popular in Italy and in the United States, especially in Southern New Jersey.
Panzerotti originated in central and southern Italy, especially in Apulia. They are small versions of the calzone, but produced with a softer dough. The most common fillings are tomato and mozzarella, but spinach, mushrooms, baby corn, and ham are often used. Another filling is onions stir fried in olive oil and seasoned with salted anchovies and capers, a seasoning that, mixed with bread, is also used in Apulia for stuffed bell peppers.
Agostino Luini brought panzerotti to the northern Italian city of Milan in the late 1940s, setting up shop near that city’s Gothic cathedral. Panificio Figli Luini’s proximity to the Duomo, the Galleria, and the via Dante pedestrian zone has made the panzerotti widely known among both Milanese and tourists. Luini has gone on to open a London café, since renamed “Sfizio”.
The analogous word, pansoti, is used in the Genoa area for stuffed pasta similar to tortellini.
In America the word has come to be spelled “panzarotti”, and is regarded as singular (with the plural being “panzarotties” or “panzarotti"). They can come in various sizes from 4” to 12”, and are most commonly semi-circular shaped.
It consists of a pocket of dough filled with varying amounts of melted mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and any reasonable number of fillings, which is then wrapped, salted, and deep-fried. The panzarotti rises during this process, creating a pocket containing a considerable amount of steam which should be partially released prior to eating.
Panzarottis are available throughout the United States in various Italian cuisine restaurants.
Since the mid 1960s, panzarottis have been an extremely popular fast food item in the Toronto area.
What is Panzarotti?
Panzarotti are pockets of dough which are stuffed with ingredients like cheese, tomato sauce, vegetables, and cured meats before being sealed and fried. You could consider panzarotti a form of deep-fried ravioli, or a softer, fried version of the calzone, another popular Italian food. In addition to being served in Italy, this deep fried treat can also be found along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, especially in New Jersey, where a large and proud Italian population serves an assortment of traditional Italian dishes.
In Italy, this dish is better known as panzerotti, with an “E,” while in the United States, it is spelled with an A; Americans also treat the word “panzarotti” as singular, referring to one panzarotti and many panzarottis, despite the fact that the word is actually plural in Italian. However you spell it or pluralize it, this dish tends to be a hit with people who try it.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
An Italian dish consisting of a small folded half-moon or square of pizza or pasta dough, typically filled with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto, and deep fried or baked. Chiefly in pl.
1967 M. Waldo Internat. Encycl. Cookery II. (Gloss.) 474/1 Panzarotti, squares of pasta stuffed with cheese, meat, etc., and fried.
1968 L. Carnacina Great Ital. Cooking 198/2 Cheese and Ham Panzarotti.
1985 Los Angeles Times (Nexis) 28 July vi. 4/1 Parties Plus will be handling both the decor and the food (calzoni and panzarotti, roasted peppers, cheeses on the first floor; antipasti primi on the second level and the pasta and veal and chicken on the third).
A Fortnight in Naples
By André Maurel
Translated by Helen Gerard
New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
As to panzarotti, you can have your choice (Pg. 39—ed.) of one made with artichoke, cauliflower, or anchovy.
Southern Italy, including Rome, Sicily, and Sardinia
By Findlay Muirhead; L V Bertarelli; Consociajione turistica Itailana.
London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd.
Panzerotti are portions of paste with mozzarella; came alia pizzaiola consists of small slices of meat cooked with tomatoes or marjoram.
The Simon and Schuster International Pocket Food Guide
By Quentin Crewe
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
Panzarotti half-moons of pastry filled with three cheeses and deep fried
20 June 1983, New York magazine, “Italy, The Real Stuff” by Gael Greene, pg. 39, col. 1:
Saintly tiny pufflets (panzerotti), filled with veal and lemon peel in a thickened cream, get a blizzard of truggle grated on quickly, as if it were not a $5.40 option ("Yes, it comes with the dish").
8 October 1984, New York magazine, “The Insatiable Critic” by Gael Greene, pg. 72, col. 3:
Panzarotti as a daily special — plump ricotta-and-spinach-filled pillows of pasta in a sage-touched butter — are sublime,...
Italian Fast & Fresh:
Delicious Italian meals to make in less than an hour
By Julie Dannenbaum
New York, NY: Harper & Row
CALZONE, STROMBOLI, OR PANZAROTTI
A stromboli is anything rolled up in pizza dough. The calzone is folded over into a crescent shape. Panzarotti are small stuffed crescents, deep fried.