Panini was first mentioned in the United States in 1956, and its predecessor appeared in a 16th century Italian cookbook. In Italy, this sandwich is called panino imbottito. But it wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that sandwiches became fashionable in Milanese bars called paninoteche. Iconic restaurants in the United States began selling panini, with distinctive variations emerging in different cities.
In the youthful slang of the seventies and eighties, the stuffed sandwich seller was defined as “paninaro,” a term that was later adopted to refer to a particular subculture that emerged in Milan in the early eighties.
The advantage of this dish is ease of preparation and a wonderful combination with other products.
The difference from the traditional sandwich is that the panini should be closed bread on both sides, and from the traditional English sandwich, in the preparation of panini should be used the ciabatta – an Italian white bread made from wheat flour and yeast, which, if desired, can together with the ingredients inside, fry on grill with ribs.
Stuffed sandwiches can be made in many different ways, and there are many recipes for their ingredients. Some recipes include frying the sandwich before eating to make it crispy.
The classic panini filling: mozzarella, ham, tomatoes and pesto sauce.
To make the panini truly Italian, add basil to it – it will refresh the dish and give it a spicy note.
But the variety of filled sandwiches largely depends on the type of bread you choose:
- It is not recommended to use crumbly bread for pickle sandwiches, as it can become overly saturated with the preservative liquid, making the sandwich too greasy or sour.
- For cold sandwiches, in which jerky predominates, not too salty bread is recommended to properly emphasize the taste of salami.
- For sandwiches that contain sauces (such as mayonnaise or tuna sauce), crumbly bread is preferred, which is soft enough so that the sauce does not leak out, but is soaked.
- For sandwiches that require reheating, the ideal bread should be light and lightly leavened, such as focaccia or ciabatta.