Soul Food Friday: Pumpkin…Panza Rottas

My Grandpa Rohrer and my mom have birthdays a day apart and often one fell on Thanksgiving.  My grandpa always wanted pumpkin and pecan pie with “the real stuff.”  That’s what he called actual whipped cream.  My grandpa was also a diabetic.  When he ate rich and sugary food brow below his receding hairline would start to glisten and within minutes the whole top of his head would get sweaty.

Pumpkin pie is just the most comforting food.  It’s a once a year literal slice of tradition and warmth.  I fully intended to feed my soul with this Thanksgiving staple yesterday…except, despite a number of culinary masterpieces, pumpkin pie didn’t make it to our family meal.

So…perhaps it’s more appropriate that today’s Soul Food Friday is dedicated to the delectable delight that the skeleton crew at work partakes in the day AFTER Thanksgiving.  The panza rotta.  Google panza rotta and the first thing that pops up, Jimmy’s Grotto in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Urban dictionary panza rotta: “i ate a ponza rotta from jimmys grotto and it was awesome!” It must be legit right?  I’m here to tell you, it sure is.  This is a deep fried pizza pocket from the hole in the walliest of hole in the wall restaurants.   This is a once a year tradition because the place fills up so you have to be real patient, especially with a group, but also because our hearts and stomachs can only take this beating annually.

There are two options after Thanksgiving’s gluttonous excess, feel shame, count those calories in your head, eat only soup for the next few days…or just lean into it.  I choose to give myself a break and just let things go one more day.  I enjoy every single bite of that fried pocket of heaven and for this, the panza rotta is worthy of Soul Food Friday.


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