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Pineapple on Pizza: A fun burst of flavour or a foodie fail? 🍍

Pineapple on Pizza: A fun burst of flavour or a foodie fail? 🍍

Possibly one of the most controversial questions in culinary history - aside from ordering a steak cooked “well-done”, of course - do you like pineapple on your pizza?! 🍍

The history of Pineapple on Pizza

Do you ever wonder how certain ideas ever came about? This contentious pizza topping which has sparked debate since 1962, was first conceptualised by Sam Panapolous, a young Greek man who moved to Canada and was looking for a novel way to attract new customers to one of his pizza restaurants in Ontario.

Sam and his brothers hired a Chinese cook which led to an exciting array of new American-Chinese hybrid meals that started to appear on the restaurant’s menu. The modern and exciting sweet-and-sour dishes seemed to be the catalyst for what was to come, as diners and restaurateurs alike opened up to a world of new flavours. 🔥

Speaking of the origin of the creative idea, Panapolous told the BBC in 2017 that, “we just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste.” He continued on to say that he and his brothers “were young in the business and we were doing a lot of experiments.”

The appeal to the Panapolous brothers was in the sweet and savoury contrast between the sweetness of the pineapple and the salty taste of the ham. The brand of canned pineapple they used was aptly named “Hawaiian” so that seemed to fit their new creation, and the Hawaiian pizza as we know it today was born! The popularity of the pizza invention coincided with the rise of “Tiki” culture in the USA as Hawaii became its 50th state, and Canada took to this trend as well, with exotic fruity cocktails and cans of pineapple becoming mainstays in the Canadian household around the same time. 🇨🇦

So do you eat pineapple on pizza?

The world’s opinion on the Hawaiian pizza

Why so controversial? People have a lot of opinions when it comes to pineapple on pizza. It even had heads of state debating its place on pizza when the president of Iceland joked that he denounced the sweet topping, which of course sparked a lot of backlash online with meme accounts using the joke for a slew of new material. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to the defence of the Canadian culinary invention, taking to Twitter to state that “I have a pineapple. I have a pizza. And I stand behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation”.

Love it or hate it, pineapple on pizza is here to stay. Personally I’m a big fan of a sweet ’n’ salty combo in my food and pineapple is my dream pizza topping. However my pro-tip would be to try it with pepperoni instead of regular ham (thank me later). I think it has to be said though that I would never desecrate a beautiful Italian-style pizza with its fluffy and delicate dough with such toppings, but to me, the American-style hardy takeaway deep-pan pie is the perfect vehicle for a sweet and savoury flavour explosion. 🤤

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