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Dec 4, 2007 04:41 PM

Now I'm Confused: What is a Stromboli and What is a Calzone?

I was listening to a radio talk show today and the topic of what ingridients are found in a stromboli versus what are found in a calzone was discussed. And during the discussion it was made clear by the hosts (via both personal experience and "wikipedia") that a calzone is shaped like a half moon and is basically a pizza turned over while a stromboli is more tubular or loaf like and is filled with ricotto instead of mozzerella and no marinara. But where I was raised (Delaware County, PA) it was the exact opposite. So what's the deal?


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  1. I had never even heard of a Stromboli until I moved to Central PA. In NYC and even upstate NY it was always all about the calzones. The 'boli seems to be a Pennsylvania thing, as they are on every pizza shop menu around here but not so much in other areas. From what I gather, the calzone is moon-shaped with ricotta and the stromboli is more rectangular with no ricotta. I'm also told that strombolis are made with mustard. Mustard with marinara sauce? ew!

    5 Replies
    1. re: xnumberoneson

      i've heard the same thing, except for the mustard bit. i have to say, that doesn't sound appetizing, but i do have a policy of trying anything (vegetarian) once.

      i stick with calzones, because i like the way the ricotta moistens all that bread. rustica in northern liberties (philly) makes a mean spinach + tomato + ricotta calzone.

      1. re: xnumberoneson

        i had mostly calzones in Queens growing up...i discovered my first stromboli in NJ

        1. re: TSQ75

          stuff yer face in new brunswick? what an entertaining place.

          1. re: rabidog

            Ahh, loved that place a million years ago when I was at Rutgers. Mario Batali actually worked there.

        2. re: xnumberoneson

          I was born in Brooklyn, my teens were on Long Island, and then I lived in Manhattan....Stomboli was heard and eaten years before Calzone in my life...then ofcourse there's also "Lard Bread"! Tastes much better than it sounds!!!

        3. I've always known a stromboli to be a rolled pizza with sauce and mozzarella cheese. I prefer no sauce, but that's just me. Calzone's are made with mozzarella and ricotta, with or with sauce, and are folded in a half moon.
          Since moving to DE, I find that no one makes a rolled stromboli down here. Such a travesty.....

          1. I agree with the original post & what they said on the radio. Stromboli is like a loaf, doesn't have any ricotta or marinara. I like getting Stromboli's from Franzones Pizza in Bridgeport -- they stuff if w/ various meats (I think the same you'd fine on an Italian Hoagie), it has melted mozerella inside, & has oil, onion & Italian seasonings. So, really, it's sort of like a cooked Italian Hoagie.

            1. i don't ever remember having a stromboli with ricotta inside of it - that to me (born and raised in the SEPA area) is a calzone. Tho the calzones i've had are more half moon in shape. what radio show was this?

              3 Replies
              1. re: smackdown

                It was on 610WIP sports radio's afternoon show with Anthony Gargano and Steve Martarano. In my area a calzone was loaf shaped and filled with ricotta and had a more flaky crust. A stromboli was half moon folded over pizza. I guess we were wrong in South East Delco?

                1. re: Chinon00

                  Was raised in South Philly and then Delco afterward and I can tell you that a Calzone is always filled with ricotta and no sauce and usually one meat, maybe two, that you would find on a pizza (sausage, pepperoni, etc.), usually had with sauce on top of it. A Stromboli never never never has ricotta in it! It has mozzarella cheese and meats you would find in a hoagie (ham, cappicola, salami, pepperoni, etc.). Sauce is again usually on the side. To me, calzone is like a pizza while stromboli is more like a hoagie.

                  1. re: Schpsychman

                    This is my experience too. I have lived in in the NE, and now, Texas. There are even Stromboli chain restaurants here in Texas, and they all put out what amounts to be an undressed hoagie rolled in pizza dough and toasted. Sauce and cheese are optional.

              2. My first experience with calzones was in New England, They were half moon shaped, with ricotta and other fillings (veggies, meat) and served with sauce on top, and harder to find in the Philly area. My first encounter with strombolis, in this area, was tubular, no ricotta, and with cheese, sauce, etc. inside--like a rolled pizza.