Pizza is a very versatile type of food where you can put almost anything as a topping, but does pineapple belong on pizza? This decades-long question will finally be answered.
Most people agree that pizza can have any topping but pineapple is one controversial topping. This has created a 6-decade divide between pizza lovers.
Pineapple on pizza, or Hawaiian pizza, as most people call it, has divided the pizza population for way too long.
Some people say pineapple does belong on pizza, while there are others disagreeing and hating the idea that a fruit that is succulent and juicy does belong on a pizza.
There is no middle ground here; either you love pineapple on pizza, or you don’t. So I looked at both sides of the story and came up with this post, ultimately, my final decision.
So read on as I try to settle this debate for once and give you an idea of why pineapple belongs on pizza – or not.
Who Put Pineapple On Pizza?
This debate all started in 1962 when Sotirios “Sam” Ponopoulos created a pizza with pineapple as a topping in his restaurant in Ontario, Canada.
Although most pizza places call it Hawaiian, pineapple on pizza actually started in Canada. The Canadian restaurant owner of Greek descent is responsible for this decades-long debate.
His main concept here is to mix sweet and savory flavors which are prevalent in Eastern cuisine. It is a balance between two contrasting flavors.
Inspired by American and Chinese cuisine, Sam invented Hawaiian pizza which actually does not have any connection with the state.
It is widely believed that pineapple on pizza is called Hawaiian pizza because of the tiki trend that also boomed during the time pineapple on pizza was invented.
Most of the customers loved the pineapple topping, which Sam decided to leave on the menu, thus starting this debate.
Why Is Pineapple On Pizza Controversial?
There are a few reasons why pineapple on pizza became so popular and so controversial. For some people, it has too much sugar, while others say pineapples are too acidic.
Others also hate pineapple on pizza because it is too succulent. It can make the pizza soggy(not if you put the toppings in moderation but there is a good chance of that) or mess up the consistency of the pizza sauce.
Here are some of the main reasons why pineapple on pizza is controversial:
- Sticking to tradition – most people believe that there should be no fruit, aside from tomatoes, on the pizza. Pineapple breaks that tradition.
- Double Acidity – there is already enough acidity in the pizza sauce from the tomatoes. Adding more pineapple acidity means that the flavors tend to be bland and weak.
- Food Pairing Method – this non-registered trademark states that foods combine well with each other if they have the same key flavor components.
So when you put pineapple on pizza, it counters the savory and salty flavors from the cheese and sauce, and according to the Food Pairing Method, this does not work.
However, the debate starts once again as there are a lot of Asian dishes that pair sweet and savory together and has had great success.
That is why pineapple on pizza is controversial. There is no solid reason why it is hated or liked which stirs up more conversation, or in this case, debate.
Is Pineapple On Pizza Illegal In Italy?
You might get in trouble asking for pineapple on pizza in Italy. It is not a secret that Italians do not like pineapple on pizza, and you might get arrested for asking for one in the country, kidding!
All jokes aside, there is no legal authority, nor is there a written law that states pineapple on pizza is illegal in Italy.
You can try to ask for one, but the answer you will most likely get is, “we don’t serve it”.
Italians treat pizza as a savory meal and not dessert, so most Italians do not want pineapple or any other fruit on the pizza.
How Does It Taste?
It’s not like I don’t eat pineapple, so I decided to try it. The flavors did have a balancing effect between salty and sweet.
There is a lot of sugar in the pineapple, which counters the saltiness of the cheese and tomato sauce. This contrast is good for some recipes but not for pineapple and cheese.
It is also true that the double acidity from the pineapple and tomato sauce ruins the taste of the pizza as it can be too tangy and tingly on the tongue.
No, I am not invalidating the taste buds of those who like pineapple on pizza.
What I am trying to say is the trend where savory and sweet are paired in one dish does work on some dishes, but when it comes to pineapple on pizza, I am not a fan.
The flavors from the pineapple also sometimes overpower the ham or Canadian bacon on the toppings, which are not as pleasant as you think.
Why Is It A Hit Or Miss?
Pineapple on pizza appeals to some people, and others don’t like it. Most people who like pineapple on pizza think there is nothing wrong with combining sweet and savory flavors.
Those who dislike pineapple on pizza agree that it is not the traditional way to make pizza, and the contrast between the flavors is not good on a pizza, which is supposed to be savory.
Pineapple-on-pizza fans counter the “breaks tradition” argument by saying it is Cultural Elitism.
Putting pineapple on pizza does not preserve the dish’s history, which is not cultural elitism. It appreciates the traditional ways and flavors of pizza.
Other people think it is disgusting, like “dipping cucumber in chocolate”. I just found this funny, but I do not think of pineapple on pizza as that.
If you like it, then good for you. We have different taste buds and preferences, which is also why pineapple on pizza is hit-or-miss.
Pros And Cons Of Putting Pineapple On Pizza
|Pros Of Putting Pineapple On Pizza
|Cons Of Putting Pineapple On Pizza
|It has a good, savory, sweet flavor combo – if you like it.
|Pineapples do not blend well with tomato sauce.
|Pineapple is a healthy topping that contains vitamin C.
|Double acidity from pineapples and tomato sauce can be too much.
|The acidity that comes from pineapples helps with better digestion.
|Pineapples are succulent, which tends to make the pizza soggy.
|The sweet flavor of pineapples can
counter sour flavors from meat like
|Pineapple limits the topping combos. Besides ham and pepperoni, there are no other good pairings with pineapples as a pizza topping.
|Pineapples add color to the pizza, which makes it look appetizing.
|The sweet flavors of pineapples can overpower the other toppings’ flavors.
|An ideal choice for people with a sweet tooth.
|Pineapple on pizza does not follow tradition in terms of making pizza.
|Pineapple does not mix well with cheese.
Pineapple is a healthy fruit with lots of vitamin C and other nutrients. It aids with digestion so that you might eat more slices.
Then again, that means more calories for you. So there is an unending argument where one advantage can be countered by a disadvantage when putting pineapple on pizza.
Ultimately, it comes down to what your taste buds like.
What Do Professional Cooks Have To Say?
The consensus is that professional chefs disagree with putting pineapple on pizzas. Most are traditional in making pizzas, but some hate the taste.
Chef, TV personality, and celebrity Gordon Ramsay agree that pineapple does NOT belong on pizza.
Master pizzaiolo Franco Pepe made his own take on the pineapple pizza trend, gaining many fans.
However, he also stated that there is a reason why other people hate pineapple on pizza, saying:
“Double acidity invariably resulted in a weak taste and poor digestibility. In addition, the pineapples were from cans, pre-cooked under syrup with a huge addition of other sugars.”
Where Do We Stand On the “Pineapple On Pizza” Debate?
I have to agree with the pros here. I love pineapple as it is, but putting it on pizza is just off or weird to me as I am not used to too much sweetness on my pizza.
I think pizza should be a tasty, savory, salty dish. It is a meal I enjoy with cold beverages, and I often even have dessert after eating it.
So I do not need the dessert or sweetness on the pizza itself. That is supposed to be later after I finish the pizza.
Although I do not hate pineapple on pizza, it will not be my first order from a pizza place.
I also dislike the sogginess it can bring to the pizza; indeed, cheese and tomato sauce do not go well with pineapples.
Aside from that, pineapples are too sweet to mix with savory toppings. It sometimes overpowers the other toppings, so personally, pineapple does NOT belong on pizza.
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