If you’ve lived in South Jersey for any amount of time (for me, almost 8 years), you’ll probably know what a panzarotti is. It’s quite possibly South Jersey’s quintessential food. A traditional panzarotti is defined as deep-fried pizza dough filled with sauce, mozzarella cheese and choice of pizza toppings.
Panzarottis were introduced by Pauline Tarantini of Camden, New Jersey who, in the early 60s, immigrated to the United States from Italy where she learned how to make panzerotti, a fried savory turnover popular in Southern and Central Italian cuisine. They were an instant hit in South Jersey and the Tarantini family have been mass-producing them here ever since.
The Original Tarantini Panzarotti™ can be found on menus at pizzerias and restaurants all over the South Jersey and greater Delaware Valley region. However, there is only one location that offers the Thanksgiving-inspired Gobbler Panzarotti. Filled with roast turkey, stuffing, optional cranberry sauce and served with a side of gravy, the Gobbler Panzarotti is a seasonally-appropriate version of the original.
The deep-fried Thanksgiving in a bite can be found at Franco’s Place in Westmont exclusively because it is one of the two Tarantini family-owned businesses in the area (Vincent’s in Merchantville is the other). While it may seem fad-ish, this location is known for its extensive panzarotti menu offering a variety of fillings and toppings. So, it’s no wonder they offer a fun, seasonally-inspired option.
The Gobbler Panzarotti is available for a limited time only. It’s on special from October to December. So, there are still a few weeks to get it.
What do you think? Fun or fad? Sound off in the comments!
Franco’s is located at 53 Haddon Avenue. Parking is on the side of the building or on the street. It’s also a few blocks from the PATCO speedline. Happy eating!
Marilyn is a freelance writer covering the food and drink scene of South Jersey.