The carrozza, also referred to as mozzarella in carrozza (Italian: mozzarella in carrozza, English: “mozzarella in a carriage”), is a type of fried cheese sandwich in Italian cuisine and Southern Italian cuisine. It is prepared by frying mozzarella cheese that is within slices of bread. It is a popular dish in the Campania region of Southern Italy and in areas of New York City. Mozzarella fritta is a variation of the dish that consists of battered cheese, without any bread.
The carrozza is prepared with mozzarella cheese, an egg wash and bread slices. It can be prepared with various breads, such as Italian bread and sandwich loaf, among others. The bread crust is sometimes removed before it is fried, and the bread can be slightly toasted before the sandwich is fried. Preparation involves assembling the sandwich, dredging it in flour, dipping it in an egg wash and then pan frying it. Bread crumbs are sometimes used to coat the sandwich. Olive oil is typically used for frying the carrozza. Additional ingredients are sometimes used, such as ham, anchovies, eggplant, green tomatoes and basil. After being cooked, it has a crisp or crunchy texture. It can be served as an antipasti dish.
The carrozza is a street food and popular dish in Campania, a region in southern Italy. Buffalo mozzarella, which is prepared using the milk from the Italian Mediterranean buffalo, is typically used in Campania to prepare the sandwich.
It is also a popular dish in Italian-American restaurants in the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens boroughs of New York City, where it is sometimes cooked by deep frying.
A variation of the carrozza is mozzarella fritta (English: “fried mozzarella”), which is simply the battered and fried cheese without the bread.
- 700 g thinly sliced mozzarella
- 12 slices sandwich sliced bread
- 8 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil, for deep frying
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Divide the cheese equally among 6 bread slices. Cover with the remaining bread slices, pressing gently, to form 6 sandwiches.
- Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well blended and frothy. Place the flour in a medium bowl.
- Add enough oil to a heavy large frying pan to come 1 cm up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil over medium heat.
- Dredge the sandwiches in the flour to coat lightly, then dredge them in the egg mixture to coat completely and place in the hot oil.
- Cook until the cheese melts and the sandwiches are golden, about 3 minutes per side.
- Cut the sandwiches into triangles.
- Transfer the sandwiches to a platter and serve with a pasta sauce or pesto.