A Distinction That Might Not be Worth Making

Todays News

Photo taken by Andrew Fabian

Strombolis and calzones both effectively serve as pizza-derivative bites that allow one the flexibility of enjoying similar ingredients in a handheld form. Dough, cheese, sauce and any number of typical pizza toppings one would find on a pizza pie come either folded in a football-shaped pocket much like an empanada or rolled into a loaf of sorts like a poppy seed roll. For Italians and Italian-Americans, hackles may or may not be raised on account of the calzone’s origins in Italy and the stromboli’s origins in South Philly—but conversations about “authenticity” are, ultimately, fruitless anyway. What’s more important than any minor distinctions is how each of these are experienced once they enter the mouth.

Once they pass that toothy crucible, any difference between the two vanishes. At Pizza N’ Brew on Main Street, both the calzone and Stromboli (pictured) come stuffed with cheese—ricotta in the former and mozzarella in the latter—and are surrounded by an exquisitely baked, egg washed pizza dough seasoned with fresh herbs. The Stromboli looks like the fever dream of a fasting monk, glistening with the comfort and joy of a pizza while evoking the sublime safety of fresh bread. When dipped in the housemade marinara, the difference between a Stromboli and calzone (and pizza, for that matter) is a distinction that might not be worth making. And certainly not when both start at $8.

Pizza N’ Brew, 1507 Main Street, Sarasota.


Photo taken by Andrew Fabian

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