The Luinis’ arrived in Milano back in 1949 when Mrs Giuseppina Luini and her family moved from Puglia to Milan. Initially the family focused on baking different types of bread, which they supplied to restaurants and hotels in the city, but Mrs Luini always wanted to bring to Milan the traditional foods she grew up with in the south of Italy. When she found a recipe for panzerotti, amongst a bunch of recipes she was given by her grandfather, she started creating and selling them. Thus began a Milanese trend – going to Luini for a lunchtime snack, a legacy which has lasted generations.
The panzerotti, a traditional snack from the region of Apulia, is made from a savoury dough and resembles a small calzone. What makes Luini’s version special is the range of fillings they offer their customers and the recipe (a closely guarded secret) they use for the snack’s casing.
The standard panzerotti consists of a mozzarella and tomato sauce filling. But Luini offers other options, including ham, mushrooms and other seasonal ingredients.
And there are also sweet versions on the menu, popularly known as the panzerotti dolce. The dolce version consists of traditional fillings from Puglia such as figs, cocoa and walnuts, and more interesting fillings such as pears and chocolate, or ricotta and chocolate.
Luini is located in the heart of Milan, on Via Santa Radegonda. From the bakery’s beginnings, this has been the street it calls home, which makes it a particularly special place to visit. Luini is a perfect lunch- or snack-spot while visiting the Duomo and shopping around the centre. While the place has a queue during lunch time, the efficiency of the ladies at counter makes sure no one waits too long for their turn.
Be sure to include the panzerotti in the list of must-eats during your next trip to Milan.