Great Foods of Italy: Panzerotti


I grandi cibi italiani: Panzerotti
Panzerotti street food Italy

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Often confused with calzoni, crescent-shaped, fried panzerotti are delicious turnovers that originated in Puglia.

The panzerotto was born from the tradition of Apulian cucina povera: what was left over of bread dough was stuffed with pieces of cheese and tomatoes, then folded into a semi-circular shape and cooked. 

Panzerotti and calzoni are often mistaken for each other, but panzerotto is smaller than calzone, and is deep-fried, whereas calzone is baked. 

The dough can be prepared with different types of flour, but the traditional recipe calls for type 00 flour and durum wheat semolina, which help make the panzerotto golden and crunchy after frying.

Appreciated throughout Italy, it is a popular street food, which you can eat as you stroll the streets of an Italian town. The most classic filling is with tomato and mozzarella. Other fillings include mozzarella and ham, onions sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with salted anchovies and capers or mortadella and provolone cheese. 

Pro tip: resist the urge to bite into your panzerotto as soon as it’s cooked because the filling is scalding - you may get burnt! 

While less popular, you may also find sweet versions of panzerotti, filled with different kinds of fruit, which pair well with with ricotta, chocolate, or custard cream.

The best panzerotti are said to be found in Bari. 


Spesso confuso con il calzone, il panzerotto è una deliziosa specialità fritta a forma di mezzaluna originaria della Puglia.

Il panzerotto nasce dalla tradizione della cucina povera pugliese: ciò che restava dell’impasto del pane veniva farcito con pezzetti di formaggio e pomodori, poi ripiegato a forma semicircolare e cotto.

Panzerotti e calzoni vengono spesso scambiati l'uno con l'altro, ma il panzerotto è più piccolo del calzone ed è fritto, mentre il calzone è cotto in

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