Pineapple on pizza

Who can we blame / credit for the creation of the Hawaiian pizza? Apparently, the Italians, Greeks, Canadians, Chinese, and maybe the Germans. But not Hawaiians.

Hawaiian Pizza
Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Italians are responsible for pizza. Obviously. But a restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, is usually credited as the birthplace of the Hawaiian pizza. A Greek-born Canadian restaurateur named Sam Panopoulos had the bright idea of mixing traditionally sweet flavours with savoury ones on top of his pizzas. He got the idea from preparing Chinese dishes that did the same – presumably sweet and sour pork and the like.

So, Panopoulos added canned pineapple to his pizza in 1962, and the topping took off. Hawaiian pizza is the most popular pizza in Australia, and you can find it all around the world… and people also hate it. Like, hate it with a burning passion. Pizza is a weird thing to be a purist about, am I right?

There’s another contender to the claim, though: the Germans have been putting pineapple, ham, and cheese onto toast since the 1950s. So if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that there’s plenty of blame / credit to spread around.

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