Hawaiian Pizza

What's the Deal with Hawaiian Pizza?

Unless you've been living under a rock, it's not news to anyone that recent life has seen a period of great polarity and divisiveness. From tensions ranging from politics to culture to cancellations, the 2020s have been marked with all sorts of divides and controversial debates. For the sake of helping alleviate some of this, we thought it'd be critical to weigh in on the topic we know is most pressing to the common person, and that is where pineapples (and ham) aka "Hawaiian-Style Pizza" exactly originated. Through extensive research and hard-hitting journalism, it's time the truth is revealed. You're welcome.


Hawaiian Pizza


The earliest known instance of the controversial dish's origins begin with Greek-born Canadian Sam Panopoulos, who created and featured the pizza at the Satellite-Restaurant in Chatham-Kent, Ontario in 1962. Panopoulos, who had experience in preparing various Chinese dishes, sought to fuse flavors of Eastern cooking to the famous Italian dish, by adding pineapple, ham, bacon, and other similar toppings to create the culturally confused variant for the first time. It was supposedly not popular among customers. Most surprisingly, the term "Hawaiian" was actually not in reference to the Hawaiian islands and culture, but was the brand name of the canned pineapple Panopoulos used in his recipe.


Despite its initial lack of popularity, the recipe nevertheless gained attention and soon influenced a slew of similar recipes with the core ingredients revolving around pineapple and ham or bacon. Popular variations of the Hawaiian pizza include barbeque sauce or pulled pork, the former of which adds a nice sweet counter to the tanginess of the pineapple. 


The common polarization around Hawaiian pizza primarily has to do with the inclusion of pineapple, which large swaths of pizza consumerists deem to be unappetizing due to the mix of pineapple's fruity sweetness with the salty and savory flavors of cheese and meats. The divisive reaction to the recipe has gone on to spark endless cultural debates as well as  both positive and negative achievements in a number of related polls. In 1999, Hawaiian pizza was found to make up 15% of overall pizza sales in the country of Australia, making it the most popular topping(s) in the country that year. In 2014, Time Magazine ranked Hawaiian pizza as first on its list of "The 13 Most Influential Pizzas of All Time" list. However in 2019, a YouGov Omnibus poll discovered that 24% of Americans polled deemed Hawaiian among their least favorite toppings compared to the 12% who responded oppositely with it as one of their favorite.


Hawaiian Pizza 2


To this day, the heated debate continues regarding how exactly loved (or hated) this pizza of bizarre multi-cultural origins is. But one thing for certain cannot be disputed, which is its impact. Of the 687 different pizza recipes currently listed on Pizzarecipe.org, the fact that Hawaiian still remains as one of the most known and widely available is a testament to its popularity overall. 


May many generations ahead get to taste and make up their own mind on this truly iconic dish.

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