Difference Between Calzone and Stromboli

I always forget the difference between a calzone and a stromboli. Google-ing the issue reveals that there is quite some confusion on the issue.

A calzone is basically a pizza dough folded over, half moon-like, that is stuffed with meat(s) and cheese(s). It’s common to have ricotta cheese instead of mozzerella, and sauce served on the side. They can also be called ‘inside-out’ or ‘turnover’ pizzas.

Etymology – Calzoni (plural) means “pants” or “trousers” – since one resembles a pant leg of the wide, billowing trousers that were worn in the 18th century.

Calzone seen on Seriously Good website
Calzone Source: Seriously Good website

A stromboli is stuffed with meat(s) and cheese(s) but rolled, resulting in more of a tube or loaf shape. They can also be called pizza rolls.

Etymology — Stromboli is a volcano and an island in Sicilia in Italy. (Not sure how that relates to the dish)

Stromboli available at Dominick's Pizza
Stromboli Source: Dominick’s pizza in NJ

From what I gather, it’s the shape of the dough rather than the ingredients that make the difference between the two. You can usually use whatever ingredients sound good, however flatter ingredients will work best. Forum posts indicate that the dishes and terminology are particular to a certain areas of the US, and of course can differ from the original Italian versions of the dishes. A good discussion with pictures of stromboli can be found on the PizzaMaking.com forum. Some restaurants serve one or the other.

I attempted to make a calzone a few months ago, and didn’t realize that it needed to be cooked differently. I think it needs to be at a lower temperature (maybe 450?) for longer than a regular pizza. It turned out kind of dough-y. I’ll have to try again and post some pictures.

What are your opinions on a calzone vs. stromboli? Post links to your own pictures!

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Software/web developer and amateur pizza connoisseur

One thought on “Difference Between Calzone and Stromboli”

  1. On your doughy Calzone, a lower temp is the wrong way to go. Virtually all pizza places cook at a minimum of 550, and a cole burning oven cooks at between 1000-1200, cooking the pizza in just a couple of minutes. If I was you or anyone else, I would keep the dough on the outside a bit thin, and jack up your oven all the way, if not even using the broiler so you can hit it from both sides. That way you can get the inside cooked properly. Maybe get a pizza screen online to really get the heat on the dough. When I make homemade pizza I always cook at 550, the max my oven goes and it works great. I also was in the pizza game for ten years, so I know a thing or two. Good Luck.

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