Calzone is a South-Italian specialty, born in Naples and then spread throughout the south, although with some variants. There are two versions of calzone: the one cooked in a wood oven – the most classic and light version – and the fried one.
Calzone is born shortly after the pizza, from which it takes the dough, the size and the baking in the oven but changes in shape and ingredients.
As far as etymology is concerned, the name “calzone” means a large stocking, full of goodness as the stockings filled with delicacies during the epiphany.
It seems that calzone was born as an alternative to pizza, when some chefs decided to try something different. The dough of the pizza was then closed on itself and inside were put the typical ingredients used for the Margherita; only afterwards were added cicoli (a product obtained from the processing of pork fat), ricotta and salami.
The new recipe soon became a classic in the Neapolitan pizzerias, and with time it was no longer considered an alternative to pizza, but a real and original specialty.
It also began to spread outside Naples, where filling ingredients changed depending on the typical products of the area. There are numerous variations of this food in Puglia, Sicily and the rest of Campania, where the fillings are made with spinach, cottage cheese, mushrooms, ham, olives … in short, all local specialties.