Difference between Stromboli and Calzones?

Inspired by the Whats the difference between a burrito, a soft taco, a chimmi-changa, etc. thread. Most pizzarias and Italian restaurants I’ve been to are adamant about the difference between the two…except one restaurants Calzone is the definition of another’s Stromboli and vice versa.

In my experience, Calzones are stuffed with ricotta cheese and tomato sauce. Sometimes pepperoni or other ingredients, but the key is the ricotta. Strombolis use pizza cheese, and basically can have the same ingredients as a pizza. I’ve seen steak strombolis, ham and cheese, pizza, etc. What say the Dopers? Is there a standard definition of Stromboli and Calzone, and what differentiates them?

I agree with you. I’d have to say that the biggest difference is, as you say, the tomato/cheesiness. Strombolis - well, the pizza flavored ones, anyhow - are basically pizzas folded in half, with about as much tomato sauce inside as you’d get on a pizza, and mozzarella or provolone cheese is the primary cheese. Calzones tend to be…wetter. More tomato, and often ricotta. Calzones seem to sport extra sauce across the top more often than strombolis, too.

Man, I miss Stuff Yer Face somethin’ fierce…

Well, a calzone is sort of like a folded over pizza, while a Stromboli is a volcano.

Hope that helps.

I thought Stromboli was the evil showman in Pinocchio

Latin vs. English plural endings? [d&r]

Weird thing is, every so often I run across a pizza place that has them transposed - Strombolis are the ones with Ricotta and minimalist toppings, and Calzones are the ones that are a “pizza folded in half” (good description btw). Other than apple juice/apple cider I can’t think of anything else where the meanings are transposed among different people, and was trying to figure out why. Each one is insistent that their definition is the “correct” one.

Has anyone else noticed this?

The Scrivener, can you elaborate a little bit?

I think s/he means that as “calzone” is plural of “calzoni(?)” (it means underpants, by the way) it would be proper to say “strombole” instead of “strombolis”.

Easy. Stromboli is associated with Pinocchio, while calzones are associated with The Godfather.

CURSES! Ninja’d by gaffa!

Don’t you mean Cannoli?

Probably. Never saw The Godfather.

Either one can be filled with just cheese (and topped with sauce), or with cheese and sauce, or with any combination of meats and vegetables as used on pizzas. The key difference is that Strombolis* are rolled and calzoni* are folded. If filled mainly with cheese, calzoni are more likely to be stuffed with a lot of soft cheese like ricotta. Because of these construction differences, most Strombolis are compact and sturdy enough that you could pick them up and eat them out of hand if you wanted to; this would be problematic with most calzoni.

I have seen distinctions drawn based on fillings and the matter of whether the tomato sauce is inside or outside the crust, but I think the points above are more common and meaningful. The original Stromboli, invented by Nazzereno Romano at Romano’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria in Essington, Pennsylvania, in 1950, was certainly of the rolled form.

  • It’s my understanding that “Stromboli,” the Italian-American dish, is a singular proper name, derived from the volcano, so requires standard English pluralization and capitalization, like using “Caesars” to refer to a tray full of Caesar salads. “Calzone,” on the other hand, is an actual Italian word for a type of food, equivalent to an English word like “loaf,” so is pluralized as an Italian word, and not capitalized.

“Here’s a little trick to help you remember. If it’s clear and yella’, you’ve got juice there, fella! If it’s tangy and brown, you’re in cider town. Now, there’s two exceptions and it gets kinda tricky here … can be yellow, if they’re using late season apples. And, of course, in Canada, the whole thing’s flip-flopped.”

Think of them this way: A Stromboli is a kind of sandwich. A calzone is a kind of pie.

One of them was the inspiration for Mount Doom?

That’s always been my understanding. My only exposure to Strombolis was as a rolled dish for many years. I was rather confused when people started serving me a large folded pocket of stuff when I asked for a “Stromboli.” I’m glad to see that others have noted this change-over.

True, but yours was funnier.

I have never been given a “rolled” Stromboli. Every Stromboli (and Calzone) I’ve ever ordered has been folded, and the shells seem indistinguishable from each other. Hence my confusion!

One of our local pizza (non-chain) experts does the calzone with sauce on the side, 3 cheeses and 6 meats inside. Hell of a dish, and damn good, too. No sauce inside a calzone, as the liquid softens the dough too much.

This is so wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:

These are Italian words, not Latin. “Stromboli” is already plural – the singular is “strombolo.” “Calzone” is singular (it means “big sock”) – the plural would be “calzoni” (it’s an irregular noun).

My experience is that Calzones are usually spicier than stromboli. And, no, not all stromboli are rolled. (I haven’t had a rolled one since the highschool cafeteria food.) I do like the sandwich/pie designation, though, as I do tend to think of stromboli as a sandwich that is self contained and melted, while I think of a calzone as a folded pizza. But, of course, you could technically eat calzone fixings as a sandwich–sandwich shops always seem to have at least one sandwich that works that way.