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Milan / Luini: mandatory stop in the Duomo area

It is impossible to walk around the Duomo area without noticing the long queue outside the two doors surmounted by the white and red signs of the historical Luini bakery.

It is equally impossible to leave the area without eating one of their panzerotti, a stuffed fried dough-based savory pastry, typical from the Apulian cuisine and brought to Milan in 1949 by Giuseppina Luini.

Similar versions of panzerotti were common and popular in the familiar tradition of Center and South of Italy but it took only few years to become a symbol and icon of the Milanese street food.

The traditional panzerotto is usually filled with tomato and mozzarella but the selection nowadays has become wider and wider including savory options like ricotta and spinach, spicy salami, onions and olive as well as a long list of sweet ones – not my cup of tea though.

In my hometown in Sicily, Palermo, we have as well a local version of panzerotto, called ‘calzone fritto’ (fried calzone), filled with ham and mozzarella – that I actually prefer over the tomato one.

People use to eat it for breakfast and I did it too when, as a kid, I used to spend almost every single day of summer with my grandparents. Despite we were spending with them basically all weekdays, having my brother and I around was a joy that deserved to be celebrated every morning with calzoni, pizzette (small pizzas), arancine (rice balls), rizzuole and spiedini (fried brioches filled with ragout).

I will be never too grateful for all the love I received from them.

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