One of the most interminable debates in the culinary world is whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza. Some say the tropical fruit is too sweet for such saucy Italian fare. But the cold, hard truth is pineapple on pizza (also known as a "Hawaiian pizza") is delicious. Honestly, this shouldn't even be up for discussion. Life is too short to feel shame about preferred pizza toppings, yet some food snobs just can't let resist the debate. Thankfully, there are compelling arguments for the pineapple and pizza combo. In fact, some of the best culinary legends in the business stan for this mix of sweet and savory.
Have you ever had to make the case for Hawaiian pizza? Are you exhausted with self-proclaimed foodies spouting off about authenticity? Keep reading to find out more about one of the most divisive issues in the food world, and why you should order your next pie with extra pineapple.
The pizza that has sown such discord was reportedly introduced in 1962 by Sam Panopoulos at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. A native of Greece, Panopoulos initially tried pizza on a trip to Naples before a move to Canada in 1954.
The taste of pizza impacted him. While experimenting with new menu items, Panopoulos recreated the pizza he ate in the '50s, but with a sweet twist. He tested the combination of pizza and canned pineapples and jumped blindly into the unknown.
Panopoulos told Atlas Obscura the pizza had detractors from the start: "People said 'you are crazy to do this.'"
One of the biggest arguments made by pizza aficionados centers on authenticity. However, by Neapolitan standards, all pizza made outside of Naples isn't authentic. Many Italians prefer different toppings than those commonly ordered by Americans.
Italian pies generally include roasted potato, soppressata, and arugula. You might find a pepperoni pizza in Italy, but it won't be the norm. According to Scott Weiner of Scott's Pizza Tours, pineapple may be a more "authentic" Italian topping than pepperoni. He told the Independent:
To those who say pineapple isn't an acceptable pizza topping because it's not Italian... it existed in Italian food culture long before pepperoni ever did, but nobody complains about that.
"Healthy" and "pizza" might go together where cauliflower or quinoa crusts are concerned. However, when it comes down to it, the only thing to truly satisfy a pizza craving is a dough-filled, cheese-covered, piping-hot, saucy pie topped with your favorite meats, veggies, and even fruit.
If you're going to give yourself over to the carb rush, get some vitamin C out of the deal. Pineapple is rich in it, as well as potassium and fiber. The fruit also has a ton of B2 (commonly known as riboflavin), which gives you plenty of energy.
Pizza is a savory treat. However, even the combination of seasoning, sauce, and cheese - no matter how tasty - can get boring. Change up your pizza routine by adding a hint of sweetness with pieces of pineapple.
In Taste: Surprising Stories and Science about Why Food Tastes Good, Barb Stuckey writes:
We like sweet because it signals calories, or energy, to us. And we like salt because we need it for normal bodily function. We have no sodium storage system, as we do with other minerals (e.g., we store calcium in our bones), so Mother Nature's solution is a built-in craving for it. The combination of these two positive biological responses is VERY pleasurable.
People celebrate the flavor combination of sweet and savory in combinations like salted caramel and peanut butter and jelly. However, for some strange reason, pineapple pizza has been shut out of the conversation.