“Can you explain the difference between Stromboli and Calzones?”
Our servers get this question a lot, so we thought we’d explain it here in case our readers are also a bit confused.
While Calzones are very similar to Stromboli, they are two are distinct dishes. Most people think that it is the ingredients that primarily make up the difference between them. But, in actuality, the ingredients are similar and are either chosen by the chef or the guest ordering the dish.
The principal difference is actually that while Stromboli is served with sauce on the inside of the folded crust, a calzone has the sauce on the side or on top.
The origin of the Stromboli is a bit unclear, but it seems to date back to around the 1950s. Romano’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria in Essington, just outside of Philadelphia, claims their Nazzareno Romano originated Stromboli in 1950. Others claim that Mike Aquino, Sr. of Mike’s Burger Royal in Spokane, Washington, created a sandwich in 1954 with chili sauce and named the sandwich after the movie, Stromboli, starring Ingrid Bergman.
Either way, the yummy sandwich developed is a type of turnover using Italian bread dough. Shaped into a square, it is filled with sauce, meats and cheese, rolled into a log and then baked. It’s filled with various cheeses and Italian meats including salami, capicola, sausage, ham, bresaola, or pepperoni.
At Mama Gina’s Pizzeria, we make our Stromboli bursting with mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni and ham.
“Calzone” is Italian for “stocking” or “trouser” but as a meal, it’s a turnover that originates from Naples, Italy.
Calzones in the United States are typically made from pizza dough and stuffed with cheeses, meats and vegetables. The dough is traditionally made with flour, water, yeast, salt and olive oil. First, the yeast is proofed in warm water and then all ingredients are mixed until the dough is slightly sticky. The dough is kneaded on a floured board then placed in a warm location, covered with a moist towel and allowed time to rise. Once the dough has doubled in size, it is punched down, allowed to rise again and then formed into the desired shape for the calzone.
Calzones are commonly stuffed with cheeses including mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, Provolone or a local cheese. These pillowy treats typically are served covered with marinara sauce or topped with olive oil, garlic and parsley. The dough is folded in half and sealed or formed into a circular shape and then baked. Some New York and Italian calzones are fried instead of baked but we prefer to bake them.
At Mama Gina’s, we keep our calzones vegetarian, serving them stuffed only with mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan cheeses.
Whether you’re in a Stromboli mood or a calzone mood, we hope to see you at Mama Gina’s soon to enjoy one of these delicious Italian sandwiches!