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Is the Italian Sandwich, a Panino or Panini?


Many people who grew up in America are often calling the Italian sandwich, a panini. However, in Italy, the word for sandwich is panino. So, have we being wrong the whole time?

In Italy, a panino is a very popular lunch option just like in America. It is a comfort food that many people enjoy during lunch or even dinner. However, a panino is made slightly different than the panini made back home. Italian restaurants in Italy often press-grill their sandwiches to add the burned flavor, turning the bread more crunch and fragrant, and it won't be complete without the melted cheese. In America, however, it is served using bakery fresh bread and served non-grilled.

Going back to the word "panini", in Italian, the word is plural and refers to all sandwiches. If you were to order one sandwich, you would say un panino, if you want to order two or more, you use the word panini, not paninis.

The common types of bread used for making a panino in Italy are ciabatta, francesino, and focaccia. Here are some common filling combinations and they do not have an assigned name for these combinations:

  • prosciutto cotto or crudo, fontina, salsa rosa

  • mozzarella, tomato, prosciutto cotto or crudo

  • speck, goat cheese, arugula

  • prosciutto cotto or crudo, brie, lettuce, and tomato

For the common panini made in America, here is a list of meat commonly used:

  • prosciutto crudo

  • prosciutto cotto

  • pastrami

  • salami

Other meats like roast beef, turkey, chicken, are well found in the menu of an Italian panini. In America, fresh greens, tomatoes, and cheese are added to complement the flavor.

Contact Cerra's Market Today for Catering Services for cold cut Italian sandwiches and panini. We are conveniently located on Route 1 serving Saugus, Lynnfield, Reading, Wilmington community. You can visit us to pick your order up or we offer catering services to residents and businesses on Route 1 and North Shore.

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