Craving some gooey and tender goodness? Then August is the month for you because we’re celebrating National Panini Month for 31 days straight. The Italian food item has become a staple in many bakeries, restaurants, and grocery stores around the globe. The simplicity of this unsliced bread with the usual fillings of veggies, meat, and cheese is enough to satisfy all types of hunger pangs. Whether you are in a hurry to get to school or work, or whether you want to grab a quick bite or meal, panini is the way to go. Just like its interesting and tasty flavors, the panini also has quite an interesting origin, involving fashionable Italian hipsters and cafes.
History of National Panini Month
National Panini Month in August takes us to the streets of Italy back in the 1980s. Starting from the word ‘panini’ itself, it comes from Italian, and it means ‘unsliced bread.’ Panini is a noun, derived from ‘pane’, referring to a bread roll. The ‘panini,’ which today means a sandwich, has been around for quite some time, in fact, since the 16th century. Yet, the food item did not gain popularity until the 1980s. Young hipsters in Italy flocked to coffee and sandwich bars all the time. They became known as the ‘paninari,’ and it was their rejection of the dull and drab Italian culture that made them famous in Milan and then all over the country. Their choice of high and colorful fashion combined with their preference for fast food soon became the headlines for many fashion magazines.
Soon globalization led to the panini traveling to the rest of Europe, the U.S., and the rest of the world. A traditional panini is made of unsliced bread like the baguette, rosetta, or ciabatta. Tomatoes, meat, and cheese are the usual fillings, but you can mix it up with your choice of vegetables, cold meat slices, and cheeses. There’s also a panini press appliance that presses the bread and fillings flat, making it easier to handle and bite into. The grill marks on a panini also form part of the aesthetic and eating experience. Take this month as an opportunity to try a sweet panini, too, if you haven’t done so yet. The sweet fillings can range from anything like chocolate, fruits, and marshmallows to sprinkles and cake — go all out with whatever you like.
National Panini Month timeline
The first panini recipe appears in an Italian cookbook recipe.
During WW2, the modern-day term ‘panini’ is invented after soldiers ask for a bread roll with meat and cheese.
The panini is recorded for the first time in America.
Young Italian hipsters, dubbed as the ‘paninari,’ take the coffee and sandwich scene by storm.
National Panini Month FAQs
What month is National Sandwich Month?
August is National Sandwich Month, which is great in and of itself because August also happens to be National Panini Month. Get ready for double the celebration.
What is a panini in Italy?
A panini in Italy is a sandwich that is made from bread-like rosetta, michetta, or ciabatta. It is served warm or at room temperature.
What is the difference between a sandwich and a panini?
A sandwich is a food/filling placed between two or more slices of bread. A panini, on the other hand, is also a type of sandwich, but it involves unsliced bread, which is usually grilled or pressed.
How To Celebrate National Panini Month
Make a panini
A panini has some of the simplest ingredients out there. All you need is some bread and your choice of veggies or meat and cheese. There’s nothing more to it, but if you are looking to customize it to your liking, the stage is yours because a panini is as versatile as they come.
Have a panini party
Host a panini party by inviting your family and friends over. You can get an assortment of bread, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and condiments. Your guests can also bring their own ingredients.
Eat an Italian panini
The best way to celebrate this month and pay homage to the iconic food is by having a traditional Italian panini. Scope your local areas for an authentic Italian bakery, but do not fret if you can’t find one. Find a traditional panini recipe on the internet, and get started on making it.
5 Facts About Sandwiches That Will Blow Your Mind
Sandwich from England
John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich in the 1700s, invented the food item after he started eating beef between two slices of bread.
The largest sandwich weighed over 5,000 pounds
The largest and heaviest sandwich in the world weighed about 5,440 pounds.
The most expensive sandwich
The most expensive sandwich cost around $470 and was created by Tom Bridge.
PB&J is the most popular in America
Americans absolutely love PB&J sandwiches, so much so that an average American eats around 3,000 PB&J sandwiches in their lifetime.
Pressed sandwiches are healthier
Reportedly, pressed sandwiches are healthier as all the ingredients are pressed together, making it easier for your digestion system to break all the food down.
Why We Love National Panini Month
It’s a celebration of the panini
The panini has a permanent place in the list of comfort foods. Panini can be gooey, cheesy, filling, and crispy, all at the same time. Most importantly, it can also be a complete meal unto itself, so you don’t need to worry about having a proper meal if you have a good-sized panini.
It’s a celebration of cultural history
It’s amazing how much culture and history can be attached to food items, and panini is no different. If you want to learn about the fashion styles and what was ‘hip’ during the 1980s, you need not look further than the annals of this sandwich.
It’s a celebration of sandwiches
Sandwiches are some of the most underrated food items out there. You are busy and cannot whip up a hearty and healthy meal for yourself? The sandwich is your answer. You are craving a light snack in the middle of the day? Sandwich to the rescue. Do you just feel like munching on something? Yep, you guessed it — turn to a sandwich!
National Panini Month dates