The History of Calzones

Calzones are basically pizza on steroids! Sometimes referred to as an inside-out pizza, calzones are made from pizza dough and stuffed with meats, sauces, cheeses, and vegetables. Then, it’s folded over on itself into a half-moon shape, baked in the oven, and served with marinara sauce on the side or atop the calzone. And, as decadent and satisfying as they are, this Italian classic also has a fascinating history that’s as rich as the sauce we use to make them. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of calzones, dating all the way back to 18th-century Italy.

It All Started in Naples

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Originating in 1700’s Naples, Italy, calzones were sold on the streets and intended to be eaten on the go. At this time, calzones were actually formed by simply folding an uncooked pizza in half before baking it. When correctly prepared, the outer crust is baked crispy while the cheesy ricotta and mozzarella filling is warm and gooey. Traditionally, Italian calzones were and still are quite small. Thus, making it easy for working people to eat lunch without having to sit down with a knife and fork. Unlike spaghetti and meatballs, of course. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that calzone means “trouser” in Italian, solidifying its purpose as a “walk-around” meal.

Then, America Got on Board

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Over the last few decades, calzones have become very popular in the United States. In fact, in 1996 after their appearance in the TV series “Seinfeld”, restaurants began featuring calzones on their menu and the rest is, well, history. Contrary to Italian-versions, American-style calzones are large enough for two or more people to enjoy. And, it’s customary to top them with garlic, olive oil, and parsley along with a side of sauce for dipping. Who knew that we would have Seinfeld to thank for the rise of calzones in America?

Get in the Cal-Zone

After learning all about the history of calzones, you’re probably craving a cheesy calzone for lunch or dinner. Check out our menu for a complete list of Italian classics from starters and wings to salads and pasta. Also, be sure to take advantage of our Monday and Sunday specials.