15 Nov 2022
Calzones: The Original Take Out Food
We celebrated a very special day on November 1st. That’s right, it was National Calzone Day! If this particular holiday passed you by, don’t worry. You can still swing by Alley Cat Pizzeria and get this delicious variation on pizza. This self-contained meal was one of the original Italian take out foods and they remain popular today.
Pizza has always been an affordable working man’s food. Just like pizza, calzones first popped up in 18th-century Naples. They were a common street food made to be eaten on the go. Calzones were a simple variation on that already popular pizza. They were—and still are—basically just a pizza that is folded in half before baking. Essentially a pizza turnover, calzones get their name from the Italian word for “trouser.” While we wouldn’t suggest that you put it in your pocket, the calzone is traditionally a meal that you can eat while you walk.
In Italy, both in the 18th century and today, calzones are small, single-serve food. In America, even a restaurant’s smallest size can often easily feed two people. A calzone in America is also different because we usually include sauce. Whether it’s marinara or the house pizza sauce, a calzone often has sauce inside or on the side for dipping. In Italy, calzone fillings are typically mozzarella and ricotta cheese, plus a mix of meat and vegetables.
Calzones have been something you could find in many pizza places or on Italian take out menus for a while, but they really took off in the 1990s. Many people credit their rise in popularity to a 1996 episode of Seinfeld. Calzones got another boost in the 2010s because of Parks and Recreation and Ben Wyatt’s obsession with them.
If you’re craving pizza, or a pizza folded in half, for dinner tonight, get some take out from Alley Cat Pizza! Go with the basic cheese and sauce, or build your own with your favorite pizza toppings!