When I was researching Milan – what to do, where to eat, *what* to eat – one place kept popping up: Luini Panzerotti.
Luini is a bakery that was founded in 1888 in Puglia by the family of the same name. In 1949, shortly after WW2, Giuseppina Luini moved her family to Milan and opened a bakery at Via S. Radegonda, 16 (where it still stands today!). In the beginning she focused on breads and focaccia, providing them for many of Milan’s hotels and restaurants. Panzerotti weren’t in the picture till a few years later.
Panzerotti are typical of Puglia. They’re a fried pocket of dough stuffed with any combination of things (the classic being simply tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese). Giuseppina had a recipe of her grandmother’s that she wanted to try to sell at the bakery in Milan. The Milanesi, though, weren’t convinced. They were stubborn, refusing to embrace the Southern delicacy… until they did.
Now, Luini and its panzerotti are famous and a treasured lunch or snack for Milanesi and tourists alike, as evidenced by the TWO long lines waiting to get in at almost any time during the day.
After I ordered my classic panzerotto, I walked outside to find a little corner where I could enjoy it. The bag that it came in had a copy of a letter printed on the back from Milan’s City Administration. It’s recognition of the “Ambrogino” award that the city gave Luini in 1988 as a sign of ”great appreciation, friendship and fondness.”
Luini has received two other major awards since then:
2006: Recognition by the Lombard region as a historic shop
2009: A diploma and gold medal from Milan’s Chamber of Commerce, commemorating 118 years of outstanding service.
Don’t get me wrong – this little pocket of dough was REALLY good – but I couldn’t help wondering if it’s really worth all the hype? I decided to make it my mission to taste as many other panzerotti in Milan and decide, a mission you can follow on my Instagram account (@JustToJess).
Have you tried Luini Panzerotti? Did you think it lived up to its reputation?