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Panini (sandwich)

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Panini are sandwich-like food items, Italian in origin, but now international.

In Italy, a panino is the word for sandwich. In Italy, sandwiches are customarily made from a piece of roll or loaf of bread, typically a ciabatta or a rosetta. The loaf is cut horizontally and filled with salami, ham, cheese, mortadella or other food, and sometimes served hot after having been pressed in a grill. A toasted sandwich, colloquially called "toast" by Italians, is made out of two vertical slices of pane in cassetta almost invariably filled with prosciutto and a few slices of cheese, grilled in a sandwich press. In Central Italy, there is a popular version of panino which is filled with porchetta, i.e. slices of roasted pork. It is traditionally served without any kind of sauce or topping. Some maintain they are the same as 'toasties' but with a different shape.


The word panino is Italian for "small bread roll"; its plural form is panini. The word is the diminutive form of pane ("bread"). Outside Italy, panini is often used as a singular word (like salami, also an Italian plural noun) and sometimes pluralized as paninis.

In Italian, panino refers properly to a bread roll and a panino imbottito (literally "stuffed panino") to a sandwich. A paninoteca is the word for a sandwich bar. "Panino" is also often used to refer to sandwiches in general.

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