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Panzerotti originated in central and southern Italy, especially in Apulia. They are small versions of the calzone or closed pizza, but produced with a softer dough. The most common fillings are tomato and mozzarella, but spinach, mushrooms, baby corn, and ham are often used. Another filling is onions stir fried in olive oil and seasoned with salted anchovies and capers, a seasoning that, mixed with bread, is also used in Apulia for stuffed bell peppers.
The word pansoti, used in Genoa for a type of stuffed pasta, is totally unrelated.
In America the word has come to be spelled "panzarotti", and is regarded as singular (with the plural being "panzarotties" or "panzarotti"). They can come in various sizes from 4" to 12",[original research?] and are most commonly semi-circular shaped.
It consists of a pocket of dough filled with varying amounts of melted mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and any reasonable number of fillings, which is then wrapped, salted, and deep-fried. The panzarotti rises during this process, creating a pocket containing a considerable amount of steam which should be partially released prior to eating.
Panzarottis are available in much if not most of the United States, but they are widely considered to be a specialty of South Jersey.
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- "Degustazione di frittelle al Centro polivalente per disabili". MolfettaLive.it. 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- Česky. "Molfetta - Wikipedia" (in (Italian)). It.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2013-05-15.