How they do it: five traditional Calabrian panino recipes

When it comes to Italian food discussion, sandwiches are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, most of us travelers usually crave something new and original – so when you are in Calabria, keep in mind that food traditions there are stronger than any place else. Panino calabrese is one of the super traditional things – and they are proud of it!

A typical Calabrian sandwich – panino – is made with local products. Outside of Italy, though, you can find them in markets or Italian food stores. Some involve a little cooking at home! The bread has to be crunchy on the outside and with a soft crumb. It is strongly advised to remove about a half of the crumb before you put filling in – and some recommend putting that crumb back in, on top of the filling. Well, you can try 🙂  Another tip – the products listed below are “mix and match” friendly. Enjoy!

  1. Salsiccia

01 Salsiccia

A number one ingredient in Calabrian cuisine and a mandatory element of any dinner party table. Salsiccia is one of the most famous Italian sausages, and in Calabria it is most often made of pork. They also use a lot of spices, thanks to which Calabrian salciccia is slightly orange-colored. And it is spicy! They also eat it jerked, but the best one for the panino is fresh – grilled over fire!

  1. Pepe-patate

02 Pepe patate

Pepe-patate are nothing more than roasted potatoes and bell peppers. It also exists as an individual dish! The secret of amazing taste is an abundant amount of olive oil for the cooking process, and you have to keep the bell pepper seeds – just cut it, no cleaning! Spicy pepper is what makes the whole thing perfect, but the regular one is delicious as well.

  1. Sardella + provola

03 Sardella

Sardella is a spicy spread made of anchovies, tomatoes and olive oil. Every Calabrian lady has her own secrets of making sardella. As for provola, it is a traditional southern Italian cheese – soft and slightly salty. This is the best version of what is usually sold in supermarkets as “mozzarella for pizza”.  Provola is a must-have in any Calabrian fridge – it goes with everything!

  1. Frittata

04 Frittata

Frittata is an omelet made with little or no milk. But mandatorily with provola – or any other cheese available at home. Frittata for the sandwich has to be done with any of the ingredients listed above – but Calabrians most likely will do it with salsiccia.

  1. Tomatoes with provola

05 Provola tomato

And this is not a Caprese thing with mozzarella and basil – it has to be provola and tomatoes. And a little bit of sardella. Best if you also add salsiccia. Mix and match!

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