Despite Their Similar Ingredients, Pizza And Calzones Are Different

Calzone with marinara and cheese
Calzone with marinara and cheese - irina2511/Shutterstock

The trio of bread, cheese, and sauce is the love triangle that we all want to join. This winning combination has a place in our hearts in the form of pizza. It's hard to argue with the fact that pizza is delicious. Who doesn't drool when looking at a slice with a crispy crust, gooey cheese, and piping hot sauce?

Another Italian favorite, the calzone, features many of the same ingredients but doesn't receive the same level of hype in many places. Calzones are the buttoned-up version of a pizza, proudly displaying its toppings on its surface for all the world to see. The calzone, on the other hand, leaves more to the imagination because the delicious cheese, sauce, and toppings are inside of the crust. These two staple Italian dishes have a lot in common but they are more like cousins than twins because they create very diverse dining experiences.

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cheesy pizza
cheesy pizza - VasiliyBudarin/Shutterstock

Pizza is one of life's great pleasures. This culinary invention made of crust topped with sauce and cheese is comfort food at its finest. It makes a convenient takeout meal that's always available when you're in a pinch. Even though pizza originated in Naples, Italy, it makes up a considerable portion of the American diet. In fact, on average, Americans eat 180 slices of pizza every year.

Pizza is simple to make, starting with a basic dough recipe that consists of flour, yeast, water, salt, and oil. Pizza makers shape the dough artfully into a disk and cover it with sauce. A pizza sauce recipe generally consists of blended tomatoes and spices that have been simmered to intensify the flavors. Cheese — generally mozzarella — and other toppings can adorn the surface of the pie, bearing in mind that it can only hold up to so much weight. Finally, the pizza bakes at a high temperature, about 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. When pizza comes out of the oven, people usually slice it into triangular pieces because that's the easiest way to divide a large pie into equal portions. The triangular shape also lends itself to consumption without utensils.

Pizza may be the more popular choice for Italian comfort food but calzones promise an equally indulgent dining experience. If you look at a calzone and assume it's a pizza that's been folded in half, you're not alone. However, calzones and pizzas go on different preparation journeys before reaching your plate.


Calzone on wooden board
Calzone on wooden board - sweet marshmallow/Shutterstock

Like pizza, the calzone originated in Naples, Italy. Its name is the Italian word for "pant legs," which signifies that this dish is a portable one. Pizza, on the other hand, can be difficult to eat on the move. A calzone contains all the toppings inside a semi-circular pouch made of a crust similar to pizza. The enclosed crust makes all the contents melty and delicious.

Calzones stand out from pizza because they have a softer dough with a higher water content. Instead of containing a thick rim, calzone dough should be thinner around the edges and thicker in the middle so that it will reach around the toppings and seal. Calzones can hold more toppings than a pizza because they won't fall victim to gravity. They also stay hot longer because the enclosure keeps heat from escaping. Comparatively, calzones are more diverse in terms of cheese as well. At a minimum, they contain ricotta and mozzarella, while pizza usually comes with just mozzarella. Additionally, calzones bake at a much higher temperature — around 550 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you order a calzone at the restaurant, the marinara sauce will likely come in a container on the side. While it's not unheard of to see a calzone with sauce in the middle, most chefs avoid it because it can make the crust soggy. You can also achieve the perfect bite with sauce on the side by customizing how much sauce you want every step of the way.

Read the original article on Mashed.