Today on the tray: Calzones

November 1 is National Calzone Day.

calzoneA calzone is an Italian dumpling consisting of an oven-baked folded pizza dough that originated in Naples. A typical calzone is made from salted bread dough, baked in an oven and stuffed with salami or ham, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan or pecorino cheese, as well as an egg. Different regional variations on a calzone can often include other ingredients that are normally associated with pizza toppings. (Wikipedia)

Did you ever notice that Seinfeld has a lot of episodes named for food? There’s “The Marble Rye,” “The Junior Mint,” “The Mango,” “The Non-fat Yogurt,” “The Big Salad,” “The Soup,” “The Rye,” “The Muffin Tops,” and … [drum roll] “The Calzone”!

George Constanza eats a calzoneIn “The Calzone,” George’s boss, Mr. Steinbrenner, demands a taste of George’s eggplant calzone at a meeting. Steinbrenner is so impressed with the delicacy that he insists George bring him a calzone every day.

Oh, but then George gets banned from the calzone place, Paisano, for allegedly trying to steal from the tip jar. (He was actually trying to retrieve money he had put in the jar so that he could put it back when the Counter Guy would see him do it.) I can’t help but notice that Seinfeld characters get banned from food places with some regularity: Kramer gets banned from a fruit shop, Elaine gets banned from the Soup Nazi’s place—I’m sure there are other examples.

George tries to convince Steinbrenner to try something else—corned beef, perhaps, or Chinese food—but Steinbrenner rejects those as too fatty and too sloppy, respectively. No, he says, “When I find something I like, I stick with it.” (That puts me in mind of Margaret Hamilton’s sage advice from one of her 1970s Maxwell House commercials: “When you find something that works, you stick with it.”)

So George makes a deal with the Devil—Newman—getting him to agree to pick up the calzones while on his mail route. Newman exacts a high price: a calzone for himself, a slice of pepperoni pizza, a large soda, and three cannolis a week. But then it rains, and Newman refuses to deliver mail in the rain. Next, Kramer gets involved, and you can imagine how well that goes.

Below, watch Steinbrenner get his first taste of eggplant calzone at the start of the episode:

Clip from Seinfeld, “The Calzone” (April 25, 1996)

In conclusion: Whether you buy your calzone yourself, or send your employee to get it for you, or bribe your mail carrier, have a happy National Calzone Day!

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2 comments

  1. I LOVE the Calzone episode. It always makes me laugh.

    I hadn’t realized, until you pointed it out, how many Seinfeld episodes deal with food. There’s also an episode where people eat their chocolate bars with a knife and fork, yes?

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