Last April I was in Italy and stopped into a panini restaurant in Parma for a quick lunch. It was a small shop that constituted its home country’s version of fast food. Much like a major burger chain here in the U.S., it was efficient and inexpensive. But that’s where the similarities stopped. Ingredient options included fior-di-latte, speck, a variety of fresh veggies … you name it. Essentially, many of the ingredients you currently have on hand to operate your pizzeria, plus a few more you may not carry if you’re a bit of a traditionalist.
I still remember the pleasure centers in my brain lighting up when I took my first bite. I’d had panini in the States plenty of times, sure. But not like this. Maybe it’s because I was so hungry, maybe it was the Romantic notion that comes along with being in the Old World, or maybe it was that this simple fast food eatery operated under an entirely different set of expectations than American fast-food establishments. Whatever it was, this panini was memorable. It had the right crunch, the right gooey inner texture, the right mix of flavors that I knew instantly I’d have to have another before I left to return home.
John Gutekanst makes mention of the fact that we sometimes forget just how good a well-done panini can be. He offers excellent suggestions to help you add this sandwich to your arsenal in a meaningful way. If you don’t serve panini, it’s high time you gave it a try. It just might boost lunch business!
For other great recipe ideas, explore our 2019 Menu Guide. When you experiment with one of the recipes to make it your own, be sure to snap a photo of the final result and tag us on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see how the items turn out in your shop!
LASTLY: Thank you for all the wonderful submissions for our next Young Entrepreneur of the Year award! Our staff is poring over the video entries now and will be whittling our finalists down soon. It’s not going to be an easy task as many of the submissions have been impressive.
If you’re going to be at International Pizza Expo 2019, be sure to attend the Young Entrepreneur of the Year (YEA) event on Wednesday, March 6, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The three finalists will get to make a brief presentation to attendees and then the crowd will vote in real-time to name our next YEA. Good stuff!
Editor In Chief