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What is panzerotti? You’ve got questions, we’ve got pizza, baked or fried.

Remember how the final bell at school would trigger your Pavlovian response for Hot Pockets? Wouldn’t it be great if there was an adult and authentically Italian adult version, sans microwavable cardboard box and a filling of hot mystery lava?

Meet panzerotti, your new best friend. Here’s everything you need to know about the portable pizza of your dreams:

What is a panzerotti? What are panzerotti filled with?

making panzerotti
Filled panzerotti with mozzarella and ‘nduja

A panzerotti is, essentially, an inverted pizza with dough on the outside and, usually, tomatoes and cheese on the inside. That dough, by the way, is usually crafted with Double Zero (“00”) flour, which is milled to be extra fine. The end result is a positively perfect pizza dough that emerges slightly chewy and impossibly light, even when fried.

The filling possibilities are virtually endless. Typically, panzerotti will have the aforementioned usual pizza suspects of sauce and mozzarella. You’ll also find variations with mortadella, provolone, pepperoni, capers, anchovies (if you’re a real salt lover), and many more cheeses, meats, and veggies.

That’s right, panzerotti are completely customizable. No matter what, they’re always super portable and ultra delicious.

Are panzerotti baked or fried?

holding panzerotti
Portable pizza, fried

Panzerotti can be baked or fried, but they’re usually fried. (And, when given the choice, why wouldn’t you go for the fried one?)

When we say fried, we don’t mean state fair-style. In the Italian tradition, panzerotti are lightly and quickly, so you won’t be left with the same belly bomb as, say, deep fried Snickers bars.

If a baked pizza pocket is what you’re after, then you’ll probably want to scan the menu for a baked calzone.

Calzone vs. panzerotti: What’s the difference?

Calzones and panzerotti seem like the same thing, don’t they? They’re both half-moon pizza purses full of the good stuff and they’re both available either baked or fried.

If you want to get technical, the big difference between panzerotti and calzones is in the size. Calzones are roughly the size of a medium pizza, folded over. Panzerotti, on the other hand, are small – about 9 inches in diameter – and built to be taken on-the-go.

And how is a panzerotti different from a stromboli?

Calzone Stromboli Panzerotti
From left to right: Panzerotti, Calzone, and Stromboli

You’re asking the right questions. They’re all roughly three pizzas in a pod. Unlike calzones and panzerotti, strombolis are rolled into a miniature baseball bat of deliciousness.

Think of it this way: A stromboli is rolled like a burrito while the panzerotto and calzone are folded over, like tacos.

Hold up, is it spelled panzerotti or panzerotto? Or panzarotti? Or panzarotto?

Panzerotti is technically the plural form, but it’s also used in the singular. You’ll also see spellings of panzerotto and panzarotto, plus pluralized offshoots like panzerotties, panzarotties, and panzarottis.

Spell it however you wish, just make sure you get lots of ‘em in your life. Plural.

Where did the panzerotti come from?

Panzerotti filling
Behold

Panzerotti got their start in Central and Southern Italy. Specifically, in Apulia. Today, they’re beloved all around the world (naturally) and easy to find in all different parts of the United States, particularly in the New York/New Jersey area.

Is a panzerotti a pizza?

With dough, sauce, and cheese, this is an open and shut case to us. Yes, panzerotti is a pizza!

Where can I get a panzerotti near me?

Ah, the most important question of all! These days, you can find panzerotti just about anywhere in the world – just not at every shop. With the Slice app, you can find exceptional panzerotti and all sorts of other pizza possibilities near you.

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