Stromboli (food)

Stromboli is a type of turnover filled with various Italian cheeses (typically mozzarella) and cold cuts (typically Italian meats such as salami, capocollo and bresaola) or vegetables. The dough used is either Italian bread dough or pizza dough. Stromboli was invented by Italian-Americans in the United States in Philadelphia.

Homemade stromboli
Place of originUnited States
Region or statePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Created byNazzareno Romano
Main ingredientsBread dough, cheese (typically mozzarella), meat or vegetables

A stromboli is somewhat similar to a calzone. A calzone is a baked turnover stuffed with pizza ingredients. A stromboli is usually made by rolling up dough with cheese and meat ingredients and is then baked, but it does not generally contain pizza ingredients aside from cheese and Italian meats. Generally, strombolis do not usually contain tomato sauce, unlike calzones. A calzone is crescent-shaped, and a stromboli is usually shaped like a long cylinder. The distinction between the two is complicated because there is some variation in what constitutes a stromboli.[1][2][3]


Many American pizza shops serve a stromboli using pizza dough that is folded in half with fillings, similar to a half-moon-shaped calzone.[2] At other establishments, a stromboli is made with a square-shaped pizza dough that can be topped with any pizza toppings and is then rolled into a cylindrical jelly roll shape and baked. Other variations include adding pizza sauce or deep-frying, similar to panzerotti.[3]


There are several claims regarding the origin of the usage of the name stromboli for food in the United States.

Romano's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria claims to have first used the name in 1950 in Essington, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia, courtesy of Nazzareno Romano. The pizzeria owner had experimented with "pizza imbottita", or "stuffed pizza", and added ham, cotechino sausage, cheese and peppers into a pocket of bread dough.[3] His future brother-in-law suggested he name it after the recently released movie Stromboli, notorious for an off-screen affair between married actress, Ingrid Bergman, and married director, Roberto Rossellini, resulting in a love child.[2]

In 1954, Mike Aquino of Mike's Burger Royal in Spokane, Washington, says he also named a turnover after the same movie.[4] However, Aquino's version appears to only share the same name as the commonly accepted version of the stromboli and is significantly different from the Philadelphia turnover version that is usually defined as a "stromboli". Aquino's "stromboli" consists of capicola ham and provolone cheese covered in an Italian chili sauce on a French bread roll.[3] Variations also exist in Indiana.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Shuster, Jim (May 10, 2012). "The Stromboli vs. the Calzone", Gilroy Patch. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Daley, Bill (March 26, 2013). "Calzone v. Stromboli". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Vadala, Nick (June 17, 2014). "The Stromboli: A Philly Original, Courtesy of Romano's". Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Stimson, William (June 5, 1976). "Stromboli is Spokane Original". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Story Behind An Indiana Original: Pizza King". September 26, 2019.

Further readingEdit

  • Mariani, John (1999). The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. New York: Lebhar-Friedman Books. ISBN 0-86730-784-6. OCLC 41319951.
  • Romano, Pete. Nazzareno Romano's Grandson