Panzerotti, at the Elizabeth St end of Flinders Lane. The first few times I walked past here I thought “aw how cute, a street sign of colorful raviolis” but eventually my curiosity got the better of me, and how glad I am that it did!
Panzerotti are little half moons of pastry filled with delicious cheesy tomato-y pizza-topping-y goodness. They don’t have a thick crust like a pizza or a calzone though, it’s more of a pastry (having been fried in olive oil) which is a little chewy, and only the tiniest bit flaky on the very outside. The first thing that popped into my mind when I tried one was that this must be the bastard love child of a curry puff and a calzone.
Apparently Panzerotti are a traditional food from the town of Cerignola on the north side of southern Italy, and apparently Vince (the owner) is the first person to bring them to Australia. Thankyou Vince!!
The province Cerignola is in (Foggia) is known for its agriculture and produce. It’s not hard to imagine the evolution of this incredibly delicious pocket food made from simple but high quality ingredients. (Have you read my review of +39 Pizzeria? Similar thoughts about tomato sauce apply here.)
They come in a cute little brown paper bag (hand?) stamped with the company logo.
The first time I tried one, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, so I got a mini (in traditional flavour: mozarella, tomato and basil) and by the time I’d walked half a block I desperately wanted to turn around and go back for another. But I didn’t. But I have been almost every time I’ve been into the city since then. No more mini sampler for me.
Today’s was Calabria, a salami and cheese stuffed delight. The salami is thoughtfully sliced into strips for easier eating, but the stuffed-ness still threatens to overflow the pastry as you bite into it.
Frankly there is something about ANY product that oozes melted cheese when you bite into it that just makes me giddy with delight.
And to top it all off, you get a little loyalty card that gives you every 5th panzerotti free, and god knows I’m a sucker for collecting loyalty cards.