Stromboli and Calzone are Italian cuisines that originated as a portable alternative to pizza. They are both quite similar to a regular pizza in terms of ingredients. However, the cousin food items are significantly different from a pizza and one another if you look at the other aspects.
These sealed and portable pizza derivatives differ in terms of size, dough, filling, and how they’re both served. While they have some major significant differences, not a lot of people can verify whether they’re eating a Stromboli or a calzone. In this post, you will learn some interesting and surprising facts that can help you tell the two Italian foods apart.
What is Stromboli?
You can think of Stromboli as a tube pizza that is filled with cold cuts, vegetables, and sauce. A Stromboli is all about the layers as it is a pinwheel version of a regular pizza. These require a lot of precision during the making process due to the layering. The layers make it important to consider the number of ingredients that go into each layer.
While most things about Stromboli remain the same, it comes in quite a few variants. It can be wrapped up into a roll or folded in the shape of a loaf. Or, some chefs even prepare it using an Italian loaf.
What is Calzone?
Simply put, calzones are just regular pizzas folded in half, stuffed with extra cheese, and then baked in an oven. It is very similar to a pizza and is also often referred to as a pizza turnover. What’s interesting about a calzone is that its structure makes room for more stuffing, and it can also come with a topping as a bonus.
History and Origin
Both Stromboli and Calzone have a surprisingly interesting history and origins. While they are both considered to Italian cuisine, this doesn’t mean that they originated in the country. Calzones are 100% Italian, through and through, but we can’t say the same for Stromboli. This is because they originated in Philadelphia in the 50s and are more appropriately American-Italian.
Stromboli was the invention of an Italian immigrant and is named after the Italian Isle of Stromboli. Due to the naming after the Italian Isles, locals tend to think that Stromboli originated in a neighboring town in South Philly- namely Essington.
On the other hand, Calzones, the true Italian pizza derivatives, rose from Naples in the 18th century. They first originated as a portable alternative to regular pizza. During that time, pizza was not as convenient to eat as the only right way to eat it was to do so using a fork and knife. Therefore, people needed a pizza that they could easily eat while standing. It is also the reason why Calzones gained popularity so quickly. Fun fact: The name Calzone directly translates to pants legs. It refers to the idea that Calzones can be eaten while walking and without the use of any utensils.
Differences Between Stromboli & Calzone
Here are a few major things about Stromboli and Calzone that make them different.
Oftentimes, the ingredients of Stromboli and Calzone are quite similar. However, there may be a few changes if your restaurant loves experimenting. Any difference is merely dependent on the person cooking them.
Typically, both Stromboli and Calzone make use of the following ingredients:
- Dough (flour, olive oil, salt, yeast, water)
- Filling (cheese, meat, vegetables, sauces)
Most of the time, the dough used for Stromboli and Calzone is the same: regular pizza dough. However, they both are open to different kinds of variations. For instance, Stromboli is sometimes made with French bread though instead of regular pizza dough. On the other hand, while you can’t experiment a lot with Calzone dough, you can still use dough that is not much different from pizza dough.
This may be a little confusing to you as both Stromboli and Calzone can contain similar kinds of meat, veggies, and herbs. So, there is a lot of crossovers that go on with the stuffing part, which explains why many people are confused between Stromboli and Calzones. However, there is one major difference that is always strictly followed by the cooks around the world.
What sets both the pizza derivatives is the type of cheese. Stromboli uses Mozzarella cheese that is also preferably low moisture, while Calzones are made with Ricotta cheese. Even with variations, Calzones always use a blended mixture of cheese that always has ricotta. Low-moisture Mozzarella cheeses suit Stromboli the best as it is important to keep the moisture level at a minimum. This is essential to allow the dough to cook completely.
Traditionally, Calzones are vegetarian turnovers, with spinach being the most common filling that goes with the ricotta. Meanwhile, Stromboli is quite the opposite in the matter as they come loaded with deli meat fillings of salami or ham. However, you can totally add the usual pizza-appropriate veggies like mushrooms and onions to your Stromboli.
While Calzones didn’t originate with toppings, it has been an interesting variation that many people love. You can top your Calzones with Italian deli meat and cheese if you prefer that.
Both Stromboli and Calzones are served with dip sauces and can be eaten by hand or fork and knife. However, the sauce that goes inside the pizza is a hot topic in the world of Stromboli and Calzones. Simple and straight, the tomato sauce goes inside Stromboli while it is a strict Calzone rule that no sauce is added with the filling. Calzones never have the tomato sauce inside and rather are always dipped. While it is okay to do the same with Stromboli, it is best to just add the sauce before rolling it.
The sealing techniques are another major difference between Stromboli and Calzone. The easy way to remember the difference is to view the Stromboli as a burrito and the Calzone as a taco. You roll burritos and Stromboli, while tacos and Calzones are always folded.
They are both sealed and given an egg wash to keep them intact and ensure that the dough stays put.
Stromboli vs. Calzone- Final Thoughts
Stromboli and Calzones are mostly made with the same ingredients, except for the major difference in cheese. Regardless, you’re bound to enjoy both if you are a pizza lover. Make sure to remember that a Stromboli is log-shaped and has sauce inside, while Calzones are folded into the shape of a sandwich. They also do not have sauce inside them.