Pizza Today - December 2018 - 35

T

he panini sandwich is one of
those foods that produce a
"double-take" after the initial bite.
It's just natural to look down in
amazement at this thin-ish flavor
bomb and wonder why you don't eat these at
every meal. This is because the panini transcends the traditional sandwich attributes by
pushing crunchy-hot texture to the front of
the line, followed by a gooey and meaty center - making this a sandwich to remember.
The history of the panini press is muddled.
In the 1920s, Thomas Edison created what
he called "Sandwich Grill" of two hinged
steel plates that heated up bread. It was
discontinued in 1934 due to the great depression. Panini have been referenced as a 'pan
warmed Italian sandwich' in 1956, and in
the 1970's Breville created what we know as
the panini press. It was at this time that the
panini became very trendy in Milanese bars
as office workers and teens flocked to the fast
sandwiches. This new, hot sandwich trend
didn't stop at the water's edge. The need for
panini migrated to the United States in the
late 1970's and continues today.
Classic Italian panini may seem skimpy
by American standards. These panini usually
never have more than one protein and no
dressings or mayo. Large portions of meat or
cheese would be considered overpowering by
most Italians. Here are some classic Italian filling combinations and some regional
specialties:
* Grilled vegetables and Piave Vecchio
cheese
* In Abruzzo, Lazio and Umbria the
Panino con Porchetta is served on pressed
crusty bread
* Arugula and mozzarella with anchovy or
Prosciutto di Parma
* Speck and Casciotta di Urbino
* Florence has "The Lampredotto" tripe
slow cooked and served with salsa verde.
* Bresaola, lettuce, tomato and stracchino
* Zia Rosetta in Rome has the ricotta, sundried tomato and ricotta panini
* Gaudeo in Rome has Puglian sea urchin
with burrata and Amalfi lemon strips
* Mortadella, pecorino Romano and
arugula
* Prosciutto and fontina cheese
* Goat cheese and Prosciutto crudo

IN THIS ERA OF FAST-SERVE, FASTCASUAL, HOME FOOD BOXES AND HEAT
AND SERVE, WE, AS RESTAURATEURS, must

distinguish ourselves with a stellar product
and serve it fast. The time of hand-buzzers
and long lines has passed and a major point
of value for today's customers is speed.
The Milanese bars were the forerunners of
this fast, delicious movement because their
sandwiches were already prepared and ready
to simply be heated up. To prepare for your
fast lunch and dinner panini rushes, you
must have a great panini grill. Here are some
suggestions.
Price: Panini grills can be had for as low as
$24 and as high as $1,000 for large reliable
models.
FLAT VERSUS GRILLED: Flat panini presses
do not exhibit the grill marks that are a
show of finesse in the panini industry. The
flat presses also tend to cook unevenly and
leave a black or dark brown skid-mark on
crusty, hard-shelled breads like baguette and
ciabatta. I've found that some employees
may start using the flat grills for pancakes,
hamburgers and crepes. This will lead to a
big, unsanitary mess.
DUAL PRESS: There is nothing worse than
waiting for your panini while you see the
press top being opened time and time again
for other sandwiches. This is where a splittop or dual panini press saves the day. Dual
panini presses can enable you to cook two or
more types of panini at different temperatures at the same time.

EVEN COOK: Professional panini
makers have heavier lids that are
counterbalanced for an even cook.
You'll know you have a good panini
press if it cooks evenly anywhere on
the grill.
HERE ARE SOME COMBINATIONS
THAT PANINI RESTAURANTS ARE
MAKING TODAY. Because today's

customers are more in tune with
culinary trends, sauces, fried foods,
stuffed greens, pestos, nuts and even
fruit can be found in successful panini
restaurants. Here are a few.
CHICKEN CUTLET PANINI: Chicken
sandwiches are "in." Pair them with
hot, spicy Nashville sauce or vodka
sauce and mozzarella. Other options?
Cutlet with smoked mozzarella and
broccoli rabe; chicken cutlet with
American cheese, bacon, avocado,
spinach, red onion and chipotle mayo;
grilled chicken with basil pesto,
roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella
and red onion.
VEGGIE PANINI: Tomato, artichoke
and Gouda cheese; fried eggplant,
mint, fontina and marinara; fresh
mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, grilled
zucchini, escarole; artichoke, leek,
Parmigiano, Asiago. (Remember to
only use vegetable oil instead of butter
for vegan options.)

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 3 5


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Pizza Today - December 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - December 2018

Pizza Today - December 2018
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Road to Pizza Expo
Destinations
Knead to Know
Winter Beer Menus
Panini
Marketing Longevity
On The Road: Caliente Pizza & DraftHouse
2019 Menu Guide
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader's Resource
Mike's Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - December 2018 - CT1
Pizza Today - December 2018 - CT2
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Pizza Today - December 2018
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Cover2
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Commentary
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 4
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 5
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Contents
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 7
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 8
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 9
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Contributors
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 11
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 13
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Interact
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 15
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Conversation
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 17
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 19
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 21
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Road to Pizza Expo
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 23
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Destinations
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 25
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 27
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 28
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 29
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Winter Beer Menus
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 31
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 32
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 33
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Panini
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 35
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 36
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 37
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Marketing Longevity
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 39
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 40
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 41
Pizza Today - December 2018 - On The Road: Caliente Pizza & DraftHouse
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 43
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 44
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 45
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 2019 Menu Guide
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 47
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 48
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 49
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 50
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 51
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 52
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 53
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Pizza Today - December 2018 - 56
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 57
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 58
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 59
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 60
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 61
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 63
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 64
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 66
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 67
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 68
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 69
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 70
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 71
Pizza Today - December 2018 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 73
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 74
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 75
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 76
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 77
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 78
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 79
Pizza Today - December 2018 - 80
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Reader's Resource
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Mike's Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Cover3
Pizza Today - December 2018 - Cover4
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