What is Panzerotti? Find This New Italian Street Food
Italian street food brings likely brings to mind one thing. Pizza. There’s been a new addition though, recently. It may have snuck by because I had not ever heard the name before. The dish is called panzerotti. What is panzerotti, ask?
The closest things panzerotti could be compared to would be a folded slice of pizza, or a smaller version of a calzone. The difference, is that the panzerotti isn’t baked, it’s fried.
Panzerotti are said to have originated in the southern Italian region of Puglia. Traditionally they are made with a pocket of pizza dough that’s packed with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Many shops that make these fresh each day are also expanding their ingredient list to include many common pizza toppings. Whatever the flavor combination, these little pockets of stuffed dough are meant to be of a small size so that they can be held in a napkin and eaten on the go. Another perfect street food.
In recent years panzerotti have spread across Europe, making their way into England and can now even be found in the USA. So where can you get your hands on one?
Panzerotti in Italy
The town of Bari in southern Italy is a great place to enjoy a panzerotti made the traditional way. If you happen to visit Bari, one of the most popular spots to enjoy one with the locals is at a restaurant called Cibo’. Further south there’s another local favorite spot that food writer Street Food 42 enjoys called Tony Bar. They are said to make “thousands a day” of the traditional tomato and mozzarella combination so they must be doing something right.
When in Rome, head to Prodotti Tipici Pugliesi for the local panzerotti. They have a number of different fillings including the traditional style, spinach, mixed vegetable and a combination of veggies and meat. At around €2-3.50 they’re also one of the best deals on food in what can be a pricey city.
In Milan, Spotted by Locals has a local favorite panzerotti street food shop as well. Located behind the famous Duomo, Luini is said to be delicious and inexpensive with a long line at lunch. Luini’s website says they’ve been making this local favorite dish since 1888.
A new Italian company called Il Panzerotto has even started a franchise model of panzerotti shops. They do not yet offer a list of locations.
Milan: Luini – Via Santa Radegonda, 16, 20121, Milano
Rome: Prodotti Tipici Pugliesi – Via Appia Nuova 559, Rome
Bari: Cibo’ – Piazza Mercantile, 29, 70122, Bari
Speziale: Tony Bar – Via Petrarca, 59, 72015, Speziale BR
Panzerotti in England
Fritto was launched in the summer of 2015 by Luca, who is originally from Milan. He started experimenting with making his panzerotti and locals responded in a very positive way. His Fritto street food concept was born and they are doing well, catering to street food consumers in the English cities of Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. A number of ingredients are available and they can be found catering to events in several local cities.
Fritto is based out of Liverpool but check their calendar for event dates, times and locations.
Panzarotti in the USA
Now back in the US, I was excited to learn that there are a few places to enjoy panzerotti here. A Portland, Oregon food writer from PDX Eater recently interviewed the owner of Bari Food Cart, a new street food vendor that supplies panzerotti. Walter Ferrante is the owner and he happens to originally be from Bari, Italy. He describes this dish as a favorite for birthday celebrations in Italy. He prices his panzerotti at $3-6 each, based on toppings and sizes. For the full PDX Eater overview click here. This is just one more reason to head to Portland, Oregon. I can’t wait to try one!
On the east coast of the US is local favorite Tarantini Panzarotti. Here their famous panzerotti can be ordered with traditional fillings or with added meats and vegetables. They sell them made to order and mention they can also be bought and then frozen at home. This little spot is so famous they were even featured on the Food Network.
Portland, OR: Bari Food Cart – SE 52nd & Foster
Cherry Hill, NJ: Tarantini Panzarotti – 2060 Springdale Rd, Ste 300
Panzerotti Locations Around the World
See how Panzerotti is slowly making its way to street food scenes around the world?!
Make Your Own Panzerotti
Are the panzerotti locations above all too far from home? Still want to give panzerotti a try? This piece from Live Like an Italian gives a step by step account of how you can make one at home. An ingredient list and simple cooking instructions will help you to enjoy some panzerotti in a minimal amount of time. As someone who loves to cook, I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. I hope you’ll consider trying it out as well.
Recap – What is Panzerotti?
Like many other delicious foods, panzerotti originated in Italy. It’s flavor and what sets it apart from pizza and calzone have shown that it deserves to be appreciated on its own and demand for it continues to spread throughout Europe and now the U.S. I’m excited to give panzerotti a try one day soon, whether at a street food vendor, or making it on my own. I hope you are excited as well.
This new street food looks too good to pass up. I predict it’s only a matter of time before more pizza shops and street food vendors around the world consider making their own version of panzerotti. I have a feeling we’re going to start seeing this dish a lot more in the future.
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