The Calzone Duel
When I look at this photo of my daughter I am reminded of a story about another hungry little girl with a big appetite …
The first time I tried a calzone I was 5 years old. We were in Paris at a restaurant with my parents and their friends. I was the only child at the table. When I was little my parents brought me everywhere they went. I learned to sit through meals, make others laugh, and most importantly- eat a variety of delicious foods. By the end of the meal I usually curled up, snug as a cat, and fell asleep on my mamma’s lap.
This particular evening I ordered a calzone, an Italian style pizza that is folded on itself. Like a giant “Hot Pocket” to give you an American style image. The name comes from the word “calza” or sock and it refers to Christmas socks that are hung and filled with goodies. Children rarely order calzones. I noticed that’s what the largest man at the table ordered. In my eyes: big man=big meal and I was Huuungry!!!!
I recall the looks and comments from the adults at the table as the massive calzone was placed in front of this tiny girl. “Her eyes are bigger than her stomach”, they said. The large man and I looked at one another as if we accepted this as a duel. He dove in quickly and ate the biggest mouthfuls I’d ever seen. The tortoise and the hare began the race. He started in the middle and left all the outer crust. The crust is the best part! I started on the outside and worked my way to the center. Bite by bite, I ate the entire meal!
The amazement and applause. I felt like I crossed a line of passage in Italian culture. I beamed with accomplishment and slowly slipped into carb coma dreams on mamma’s lap. Never underestimate the capacity of an Italian girls appetite.
Have you ever had a calzone?