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The continuing controversy of Hawaiian pizza



The passion for pizza should not be underestimated. Gravy was spilled in debates over geographical superiority, deep plates spilled over New York's thin crust and freshly frozen. (Admittedly, the latter is not much of a discussion.)

Nothing seems to separate pizza lovers from Hawaii pizza – a traditional pie topped with perceived obscenities like pineapple. For one thing, it's not even of Hawaiian origin. On the other hand, the application of fruit to a pizza was compared with the doodling of the Mona Lisa . In honor of National Pizza Week, we take a quick look at the origins of this controversial addition to the menu.

Hawaiian pizza originated in the 1

960s in Ontario, Canada, when the owner of Satellite Restaurant and Greek immigrant Sam Panopoulos returned from Detroit had tried what was then a novelty for Canadians: pizza. At that time, the dough and sauce arrangement was considered "ethnic" food and is not widely used in the country. Panopoulos took what he had learned from his state visit, bought a small oven and prepared pies with toppings like mushrooms, bacon and pepperoni.

In 1962, Panopoulos decided to add another option that offered its customers pineapple topping. There was no gastronomic science behind it. "We just put it on, just for fun, [to] see how it would taste," Panopoulos told the BBC in February 2017. A taste test has shown that the sweetness of the pineapple and the savory taste of adding ham make a nice contrast to the salty, doughy pie. The "Hawaiian" name came from the brand of tinned pineapple Panopoulos used.

Since pizza was a novelty in Ontario itself, there was little resistance to the idea – the food had to delight the dedicated and widespread even more so today. (In fact, Panopoulos did not have any special pizza boxes – he just cut cardboard circles he received from a local furniture store.) Canned pineapples a magnet for Canadian pantries, thanks to a strong interest in the so-called Tiki culture After World War II, Canadians flourished.

And they liked it. "Because these days nobody mixed sweets and sauces and so on," Panopoulos said. "It was plain food."

When Pizza franchises came into being in the second half of the 20th century, so did the Hawaiian pizza, which offered itself as a menu item for people with an adventurous palate. But for every person who wants to experience something different, there is another person who considers the addition to be an abomination.

2017: Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, the Icelandic president, told schoolchildren that he would ban pineapple pizza if he had the power to do so. (Jóhannesson later went back on the comment, insisting that he had no such influence, but it sounded more like a lawsuit than a revocation.) In the same year, a poll in the UK found that 53 percent of citizens liked pineapple on their pizza 15 percent would do so advocating a ban.

On June 8, 2017, Panopoulos died at the age of 83. After selling his restaurant in 1980, he was largely excluded from the debate and banned eating only frozen cakes. As far as Hawaii is concerned, they do not seem to like their name delicacy any more or less than the rest of the world.


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