How is this possible? A conversation over the weekend reminded me how much I loved these incredibly doughy and tasty things.

I went from excited to find a place that served one up only to realize there isn't one place in Rockford that actually makes them.

I'm talking about a panzarotti. Think calzone but much, much better. People actually get them confused with one another. Panzarotti and calzones look very similar but there is one huge difference.

What is a panzarotti? says:

A type of ravioli pasta that is prepared as a fried pasta instead of the more common boiled pasta. Often referred to as a pouch or pocket type of pasta due to being made larger in size so it can hold additional contents, Panzarotti is typically prepared for use in the Italian Neapolitan dish known as Frienno e Magnanno. Ingredients often used as fillings may include mozzarella cheese, pork, ham or prosciutto, Parmesan or pecorino cheese, tomatoes, herbs, and seasonings.

It's like a massive ravioli, but like I said about the calzone, it's much better.

The easiest way to describe a panzarotti would be "it's a deep-fried pizza."

Sounds good, right? Well, you won't find one in Rockford, like, anywhere.

A quick Google search yields two places that used to sell panzarotti. Used to, because both places are closed. The old Banducci's Pizza and Pasta used to sell panzarotti.

The other, a place called Papa Joe's Pizza located on 17th Street says they sell or at least sold panzarotti. Calls to the number listed on returned a busy signal.

It's not a calzone, it's not a big ravioli and it's certainly not a pizza puff. Do you know of any place in Rockford that sells panzarotti?

A delicious panzarotti could change your outlook on life. It might be the one thing that Rockford needs. I can't promise a better tomorrow just because a panzarotti is in your life but it will certainly give you something to look forward to.

Sometimes that's all we need, as long as it's stuff with cheese and deep fried.

Sweet Lenny is the brand manager of 97ZOK and Operations Manager for Townsquare Media Rockford. Catch him afternoons 3 to 7 on 97ZOK. Follow him on TwitterInstagram and like his page on Facebook.

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