“It was just another piece of bread cooking in the oven.”
February 21, 2017 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Canadian Inventor of Hawaiian Pizza Defends Pineapple After Iceland's President Disses Fruit Topping [CBC.ca] “The president of Iceland has made a bold, shocking statement about a Canadian invention. President Guoni Johannesson recently told a group of high school students during a Q&A that he was fundamentally opposed to pineapple on pizza — and that's not all. He went on to say if he could, he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping. We demanded an interview with the president.”

He was not available. But his office did send along a statement which was also shared on Facebook:
I like pineapples, just not on pizza. I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don't like. I would not want to live in such a country. For pizzas, I recommend seafood.”
posted by Fizz (121 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
It looks like it's time to bomb Iceland. Sorry, guys, you had a good run, but now you've gone TOO FAR.
posted by azpenguin at 8:35 PM on February 21, 2017 [10 favorites]


This man had my vote until he combined the words pizza and seafood together
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:40 PM on February 21, 2017 [17 favorites]


You lost me at seafood, guy.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:41 PM on February 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


Squid on pizza is fine.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:44 PM on February 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


Artichokes and scallops on a pie is a revelation. Just as pineapple loves ham and hot peppers.
posted by bonehead at 8:45 PM on February 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


Artichokes and scallops on a pie is a revelation.

It sounds so wrong and yet I'm interested.
posted by Fizz at 8:46 PM on February 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


No, no Iceland, you are presidenting wrong. Maybe a "Failing foreign pine-apple barons force out traditional pizza toppings of hangikjot and hardfiskur. Very un-Icelandic! I will fix" or something.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:48 PM on February 21, 2017 [9 favorites]


Hot take: pineapple, ham and jalapeño is a really great pizza topping combo.
posted by Artw at 8:55 PM on February 21, 2017 [11 favorites]


That's not a hot take, that's truth.
posted by azpenguin at 8:59 PM on February 21, 2017


Seafood gets a pass because, y'know, that's a thing that Actual Italians In Italy do with pizza.

Hawaiian pizza, though… guh. Yuck. What monster would ruin a perfectly good pizza by adding ham?

Pepperoni and pineapple is the objectively superior topping combination, combining sweet, salty, savory, tart, and spicy
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:01 PM on February 21, 2017 [11 favorites]


Pineapple, prawns, fresh parsley, a touch of dried chilli, a swirl of crème fraiche, a squeeze of lemon.

yes I am an international peacemaker thanks for asking
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:01 PM on February 21, 2017


Hot take: pineapple, ham and jalapeño is a really great pizza topping combo.

Pineapple and jalapeno, yes, but no ham. Ham is the worst vegetable.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:03 PM on February 21, 2017 [13 favorites]


Bacon and pineapple is the best topping combination of course, but ham is an acceptable substitute if necessary.
posted by randomnity at 9:34 PM on February 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


I thought "For pizzas, I recommend seafood" meant "skip the pizza and eat seafood", it didn't even occur to me that someone would put seafood on pizza.
posted by bleep at 9:38 PM on February 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


Gotta be pepperoni or another spicy salami with my pineapple.
posted by Night_owl at 9:41 PM on February 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


seafood belongs in the sea and nowhere else

NOWHERE ELSE
posted by poffin boffin at 9:47 PM on February 21, 2017 [14 favorites]


Artw: “Hot take: pineapple, ham and jalapeño is a really great pizza topping combo.”

Jalapeño is a silly and pointless little pepper.

The best pizza is ham, pineapple, and roasted New Mexico green chile.
posted by koeselitz at 9:50 PM on February 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


i fucking adore ham and pineapple
posted by PinkMoose at 10:01 PM on February 21, 2017 [3 favorites]




I've observed that when people are ordering pizza as a group the ratio between the number of people who will actively order pineapple is much less than the number of people who will actively eat it first, regardless of any other choices present. Even more vexing is how that this often includes the very same people who argued against pineapple or Hawaiian in the first place.

It's like when the pizza finally arrives half the suddenly loses their mind and thinks "Ooooh, Hawaiian pizza! That looks good!" and forgets that just 30 minutes ago they were arguing that they didn't want any.

This is highly problematic for those who like pineapple on pizza. Many times I have seen the individuals in the group who asked for pineapple in the first place not even get one slice of it, because the pizza argument-ritual ended up with only half of a small with pineapple or Hawaiian style on it being ordered.

Please, please stand up and be counted if you're going to eat the Hawaiian pizza. It's ok to like pineapple on pizza. Be brave.
posted by loquacious at 10:05 PM on February 21, 2017 [23 favorites]


The pizza place (there was just the one, really) in my college town was called EBAs - Everything But Anchovies.

Later in life, I discovered that I like anchovies. How much I missed in college!

Put any damn thing you want on your pizza, as long as I am not required to eat it if I don't want to. For the record, I've not yet met a pineapple-on-pizza combo that I thought really worked, but it's....okay. Often - not always - okay pizza is better than no pizza.
posted by rtha at 10:08 PM on February 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


Somewhere I have a photo of a "fruits of the sea" pizza I was served in a little waterfront town west of Pisa. It was beautifully composed, all symetrically arranged, and at the tip of each slice was a tiny octopus with its tentacles folded down into the point.

Pepperoni and pineapple is fantastic... far superior to ham and pineapple.
posted by carmicha at 10:08 PM on February 21, 2017 [11 favorites]


Good tinned anchovies and sardines are actually really good on pizza, especially if they've been tinned in tomato sauce. Especially on a more rustic margherita style pizza. Think paella.

Anyway, this talk of seafood on pizza makes me want to try flaked candied salmon nuggets and pineapple on pizza, instead of ham. Maybe with bacon, and/or a sprinkle of kombu flakes. Maybe even replace the pineapple with apple slices, call it Seattle style pizza.
posted by loquacious at 10:13 PM on February 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


Do you even know how they eat pizza in Iceland? It has a gorgonzola-like soft ripened cheese and it's eaten with jam. With jam! (Which is, as you know, made from fruit.
posted by sjswitzer at 10:32 PM on February 21, 2017


I do like a ham & pineapple pizza, but as others have pointed out, pepperoni and pineapple isn't too shabby either, try it if you haven't.

(Or I guess maybe don't try it if you are anti-pineapple already? I'm not trying to win anybody over to the Church of Pineapple on Pizza, I just want existing adherents to find new paths to joy.)
posted by jcreigh at 10:37 PM on February 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Really, the important thing with pineapple is that it has to be cooked until it's juicy but not wet. Sometimes I've actually been known to buy one of those pepperoni pizzas the size of God from Costco and break open a thing of canned pineapple and just cook it in the frying pan until it's all browned, and then sprinkle it on that pizza and make it a perfect thing.

Tajín is also an outrageously tasty thing to put on your pizza. So's the chipotle pepper Tabasco sauce. It turns out that the combination of tart and spicy works well on pizza! Who'd have guessed!
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:43 PM on February 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


Properly done the Hawaiian burger is glorious.
posted by Artw at 10:44 PM on February 21, 2017


Do you even know how they eat pizza in Iceland? It has a gorgonzola-like soft ripened cheese and it's eaten with jam. With jam! (Which is, as you know, made from fruit.)
One of the most disturbing things I have ever heard in my life is that in Sweden, people eat spaghetti with a fork and knife. My brain just turned inside-out at this notion, especially because it was expressed to me with incredulity by my Australian friend, in the presence of his Swedish girlfriend, who indignantly insisted it was a perfectly fine way to eat pasta despite NO IT IS NOT
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:45 PM on February 21, 2017


the secret about pineapple on pizza is you dice it small, a nice sweet compliment to the tomato acid and you don't use HAM you use bits of smokey BACON and you use them both sparingly

now that's a nice slice.
posted by The Whelk at 10:49 PM on February 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


I concur that putting pineapple on a pizza is weird, but also surprisingly refreshing, as per what The Whelk said.

But really, people used to put freaking anchovies on a pizza, and why? Little obviously dead fish (or at least that's what it looked like the one time I saw anchovies on a pizza, on a cruise ship)? That's hella gross. At the very least, can't you disguise the food so it doesn't look like you're an evil carnivore?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:55 PM on February 21, 2017


people eat spaghetti with a fork and knife

How else are you supposed to eat spaghetti? With your hands? Google image searching for "person eating spaghetti" turns up people eating with perfectly normal forks and knives. Is this one of those "stand vs sit" things where some contingent of people has been eating spaghetti with pizza slicers and thinking everyone else is weird?
posted by Pyry at 11:03 PM on February 21, 2017 [7 favorites]


Okay, I like pineapple on almost everything but I dislike ham almost everywhere (exception: prosciuto, the half-way decent ham, in small doses in a mixed cold cuts sammich). So I learned the joys of Pineapple and Pepperoni long ago. Onions (especially relatively sweet onion) and not-too-hot peppers (my taste buds are those of a wimpy white boy) are always a definite plus on any pizza topping combo. The little tiny salad shrimp are the most acceptable seafood on pizza for me. I generally prefer my toppings in small pieces/slices to ensure that they get browned before the cheese gets blackened. Also I have never gotten a taste for mushrooms; they add a kind of 'off' moldy taste even when chopped too small to be easily visible. Pizza is where one's personal taste in foods is exposed and made to appear weird.

Just surprised to see two pizza-themed FPPs in less than a week. At least this one is about the toppings.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:04 PM on February 21, 2017


But really, people used to put freaking anchovies on a pizza, and why?

Used to? Last week counts as used to now?
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:19 PM on February 21, 2017 [12 favorites]


Pineapple + some kind of pork product on pizza is a winning combo. Period. It just works. Canadian bacon and pineapple is perfectly fine junk food. It just is. Not healthy, but that's not what we're talking about in the least, right?

Seafood is hit or miss with me, but seafood on pizza...I'll allow it.
posted by zardoz at 11:59 PM on February 21, 2017


people eat spaghetti with a fork and knife

Is this another duvet moment? Are we about to discover that otherwise perfectly normally humans are eating spaghetti without cutlery? Is Lady and the Tramp's cultural influence so deep?
posted by mushhushshu at 12:09 AM on February 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


Anchovies are my favorite topping.

Pineapple is just wrong.

I have noticed that if there is a pineapple pizza on the menu somewhere, there will rarely be an anchovy pizza and vice versa. Make of this what you want. And enjoy your pizzas as you like them.
posted by mumimor at 12:09 AM on February 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


First bit of context, this was a jokey answer that Guðni, gave to a question put to him in a secondary school. Second bit of context, just for this sentence, Icelanders are usually referred to by their given names, because family names are relatively rare. I have one and the president has one (Thorlacius), but that puts us in a minority of about five percent. Third bit of context, even though it's possible to grow pineapples in Icelandic greenhouses, all pineapples are imported. Until recently, that would have meant canned. The formative pineapple-on-pizza experiences of Icelanders is to have soggy, canned pineapple destroying the structural integrity of their pizza. Fourth bit of context, pizzas in Iceland, at least in the better places, are actually quite good. I lived in Providence for five years, and while nothing in Iceland compares to the finest Providence has to offer, the very best pizza joints in Iceland wouldn't be wildly out of place in that pizza heaven.
posted by Kattullus at 12:13 AM on February 22, 2017 [10 favorites]


You eat spaghetti with a fork and a spoon, not with a fork and a knive: How to eat Spaghetti.
posted by Pendragon at 12:25 AM on February 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


Well there is some debate about whether Italians consider using a spoon to help you eat spaghetti as something only a child would do.
posted by eye of newt at 12:41 AM on February 22, 2017 [4 favorites]




More on topic, I've heard that Icelanders (and other Northern Europeans) eat their pizza with a fork and knife, which I think goes against the nature of pizza. Then again, I like pineapple (and ham) on pizza, so who am I to talk.
posted by eye of newt at 12:50 AM on February 22, 2017


Canadian here.

Pineapple belongs on pizza just like ketchup belongs on chips. Ie never.

Fight me fellow Canucks.
posted by Yowser at 12:52 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Nduja and Soppressata with onions and garlic is the best pizza. The Nduja is so soft that it essentially melts in the mouth and turns nice and crispy on the top, but still soft in the middle. They both add a good level of spice to the pizza.

According to my Italian friend under no circumstance should there be pineapple on pizza.
posted by koolkat at 1:10 AM on February 22, 2017


What do they think about Dutch-style bananas or apricots on pizza?
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:26 AM on February 22, 2017


As if I'm going to take food advice from a place that created hákarl.
posted by MikeKD at 1:27 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have a pie
I have pineapple
[unh!]
Pineapple pie!
posted by chavenet at 1:31 AM on February 22, 2017 [9 favorites]


Oh man, I love pizza with pineapple, ham, or some combination thereof on top. Also I like pizza with anchovies. And weirder stuff, too. Piece in Chicago used to make a great pizza with mashed potatoes on it.

But I hate, hate, hate pizza with onion or garlic on it. Also, like, fancy pizza with broccoli rabe on it. Come on people, I don't look to pizza for my daily intake of roughage.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:53 AM on February 22, 2017


Pineapple on pizza is so wrong. When I read his statement earlier I was thrilled to find a politician who shared my values.

I have no idea how 40% of my siblings ended up pineapple on pizza people. As the eldest, I feel like I've failed them.
posted by kitten magic at 2:16 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I will eat literally anything and enjoy it, so I really have no qualms when it comes to pizza toppings. My wife's favorite is sweet potato, which I don't love, but what are you going to do?
posted by Literaryhero at 2:24 AM on February 22, 2017


For pizzas, I recommend seafood.

Ignoring the fact that there are other reasons to question his pizza expertise, it seems to be some additional trolling going on here; from the same source:

While that does not sound all that controversial (shellfish is considered a legitimate pizza topping), Guðni uses the word "fiskmeti" in the Icelandic version of his post, which translates as fish-products, rather than seafood.

Can someone who knows the language better clarify?
posted by effbot at 2:26 AM on February 22, 2017


My husband hates hates hates Hawaiian pizza, it's not my favorite but I'll eat it without complaint. But we both love an apple + spinach + proscuitto/bacon + gorgonzola pizza, which is probably much weirder. Maybe it's a texture thing that he'll eat some fruits on pizza but not others?
posted by foxfirefey at 2:28 AM on February 22, 2017


Absolutely nothing unusual about spinach-bacon-gorgonzola/feta around here (Southern New England). Apple might get you some looks. Pineapple is sometimes on the toppings list, but would still get you looks. Of pity.
posted by Kinbote at 3:08 AM on February 22, 2017


I used to love ham and pineapple, but now that I'm vegetarian my go-to pizza is mushroom and pineapple and I give nary a fuck if that is deemed gross or uncouth. I never get why people do the "meat and fruit eugh" thing and then eat turkey with cranberry sauce or duck and orange.
posted by billiebee at 3:17 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


effbot: Can someone who knows the language better clarify?

Yeah, Iceland Mag has that just completely wrong. "Seafood" is a direct translation of "fiskmeti", i.e. anything edible from the sea. The first part, "fisk-" is confusing the writer here. While fish in general is "fiskur", various other creatures in the ocean can be referred that way. For instance, the ocean quahog is "kúfiskur". And like in English, shellfish can be referred to as "skelfiskur".
posted by Kattullus at 3:29 AM on February 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I love pizza. All kinds of pizza. Toppings be damned, I'll have whatever monstrosity you cook up. I prefer the variety.

My wife will only eat cheese pizza. My eldest son will only eat pepperoni. My youngest son will eat cheese pizza, or pepperoni pizza if you've picked the pepperoni off it first. So every time we order pizza, it's one large pizza, half cheese, half pep.

On my last birthday we were getting pizza, and with more people coming over it meant more pizza. Three large pizzas! So, fine, one cheese, one pepperoni, and one for me. Except my father-in-law was coming, and the only pizza he likes is Hawaiian.

So I scroll through the pizza toppings, the alternate sauces, the variety crusts, and weep. It's pretty bad when you think back fondly to your youth, and the frozen Mexican cardboard pizzas with the squeeze packet of hot sauce so you could adjust the heat from bland to soupy. I actually like pineapple on pizza, but when that's the limit of adventure you're allowed, it's very depressing.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:45 AM on February 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


My opinion, why not:

Pizza is a kind of flat bread, web you get right down to it. Like pita or naan. It should be made from good stretchy dough and be simply delicious with minimal toppings. Good tomato sauce, good mozzarella. Maybe some other choice items (anchovies and olives a particular favourite).

I won't eat pizza with pineapple and I probably wouldn't get pizza from somewhere that sold pizza with pineapple. I also wouldn't dream of calling a pizza a "pie".

These are my values. I fully accept that others may differ, but as long as they respect my views, hopefully we can all get along.
posted by 1head2arms2legs at 4:08 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Little obviously dead fish

Well, We're not going to put live fish on our pizza. We're not bloody Klingons.
posted by rodlymight at 4:12 AM on February 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


seafood belongs in the sea and nowhere else

I find seafood does quite well atop a ball of rice. With a bit of wasabi.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:18 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I like Hawaiian pizza. The better purveyors of said style using something more akin to Canadian bacon than something Grandma served on holidays.

In my neck of the woods, though, the real battle comes down to whether you take your Hawaiian with God's preferred tomato sauce or *shudders* barbecue sauce. I kid you not. More proof that Pizza King is Satan's whelp.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:28 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Anchovies, anchovies, you’re so delicious. I love you more than all the other fishes.
-Dawn
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:35 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


For pizzas, I recommend seafood.

Shrimp, Pepperoni, Bacon.

Delish
posted by mikelieman at 4:37 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


After making homemade pizza at my house, there's almost always leftover pepperoni, sauce, cheese, and yes, pineapple, which usually gets made into a baked dish using penne that I like to call "pizza pasta". It also usually includes some red onion and pickled jalapeños. It would probably drive an actual Italian to self harm.
posted by cilantro at 4:44 AM on February 22, 2017


Also I love pepperoni and pineapple pizza enough that I have a special name for it- "peppernapple".
posted by cilantro at 4:46 AM on February 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


Absolutely nothing unusual about spinach-bacon-gorgonzola/feta around here

You can't just say "gorgonzola/feta" like those are two interchangeable things. I like both, but they're very different cheeses. With spinach and bacon I'd prefer the gorgonzola.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:53 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Pineapple is a good addition to fried rice.

There are so many combinations of things people put on pizza that I would not eat, that I won't even go there. Hawaiian Pizza is OK.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:11 AM on February 22, 2017


Why is a man president of Iceland again? He should step down in favour of his Canadian wife, who can then skilfully apologize for his tactless remarks.
posted by heatherlogan at 5:18 AM on February 22, 2017


Oh wow, fried rice with pineapple sounds like it could be heavenly. I like adding an umeboshi or two and have found that that adds a nice tartness, and pineapple could be good too
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:21 AM on February 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Now I want pineapple-and-choriço pizza.
posted by qbject at 5:26 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I do not like them
Here or there.
I do not like them
Anywhere.
posted by mikelieman at 5:34 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Pineapple fried rice (Khao Pad Sapparot) is definitely a thing, and an authentically Thai thing, at that. Served in a pineapple boat, if you want to be fancy!
posted by cilantro at 5:38 AM on February 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I can order my boringly simple yet somewhat purist pie from Domino's with a single click: Thin, foldable Brooklyn crust. Extra marinara. Cheese. Red pepper flakes on the side...
posted by jim in austin at 5:51 AM on February 22, 2017


Pineapple on pizza is just fine. And as for seafood, clam pies have been around forever and taste great.
posted by jonmc at 6:14 AM on February 22, 2017


I am firmly with Iceland on this one.

In fact, I am quite passionate about this and have long preached against pineapple on pizza. It is just wrong. In the oven, the pineappple warms up to a temperature that is just way too high for pineapple. Disgusting.

For some strange reason, noone would ever listen to me or be interested on what I had to say on this subject. It's like being surrounded by the culinary equivalent of the Borg! So it's good to finally know that I am not alone in this world...

Now one thing that's even worse than pineapple as a pizza topping is corn. Corn! Whoever came up with that should be forced to eat Hawaiian pizza until they puke.
posted by sour cream at 6:49 AM on February 22, 2017 [4 favorites]




Seafood gets a pass because, y'know, that's a thing that Actual Italians In Italy do with pizza.
I've only had a dozen pizzas in Italy, but they've all been awful. Easily the 12/14 worst pizzas I've ever eaten. Goopy, sloppy junk with no flavor except salt. Unless you get one with capers, then there's vinegar with your salt. Which are more or less the only two flavors that seem to exist in modern northern Italy. (At least the cocktails are good. You'll need them to stomach the boring food.) It's possible southern Italy does it better. . . but, I'm tempted to suggest that pizza, like the Burrito, is a food that only achieves excellence when made by emigrants who are willing to abandon tradition and experiment. I've had awesome pizza in Mexico. I've had fantastic burritos in Italy. The alternative has always been universally disappointing. (Yeah, I know the burrito doesn't really come from Mexico, but it invites an assumption of cultural heritage and was perfected by people who started out in Mexico.)

And, there are very few foods that aren't improved by adding pineapple: pasta, tacos, omelets, roasted game, fried rice, dumplings, empanadas. Arguing against pineapple is arguing against a joyful life. You might as well come out against water, or air, or bread.

On the other hand, I'd be so overjoyed to live in a country whose president would say, "I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don't like. I would not want to live in such a country." You go, Iceland. Even if you elect people with shitty taste in pizza.
posted by eotvos at 7:13 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


For those who want this done right, the actual desire is for charred pineapple bits to be on top, more like grilled pineapole, and less like the sad versions people who seem to vehemently hate describe. So on a refined palate, you get that blend of sweet and charcoal combined with the mouthfeel of ham and it's saltiness... It is, perhaps, the most perfect topping.

Who are you to try to tell me authoritarianly that I cannot have a given topping on my Pizza, Trump? I shall defy you until my last breath, you who accuse me of being only a so-called Pizza expert.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:18 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I love pineapple on my pizza. I have a couple nice slices of Hawaiian pizza in my lunch today.

I also love anchovies on pizza ... anchovies and pineapple on pizza is a nice combination of sweet, salty, and savory.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:18 AM on February 22, 2017


Are we talking about excellent pineapple-on-pizza combos again?

(and portmanteaus as well, thanks cilantro!)
posted by cardioid at 7:20 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Chacun à son goût and all that jazz, but as a Canadian, I too stand with the people of Iceland, or at least their President in defiance of this awful topping choice.

SP: That was back in the late '50s, the '60s. Pizza wasn't in Canada — nowhere. Pizza was coming in through Detroit, through Windsor, and I was in Chatham then, that was the third stop. We had a restaurant there. We went down to Windsor a couple of times, and these places, and I said, "Let's try a pizza."

Then we tried to make some pizza. Along the way, we threw some pineapples on it and nobody liked it at first. But after that, they went crazy about it. Because those days nobody was mixing sweets and sours and all that. It was plain, plain food. Anyway, after that it stays. We sell pizzas in Chatham and in London for the next 40, 45 years.


I haven't bothered to fact check this guy's claims, but this sounds like an ALTERNATIVE HERITAGE MINUTE.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:21 AM on February 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


Actually, I will eat any kind of pizza. I have yet to come across one that I don't like. Pizza purists and traditionalists can go eat their boring, unimaginative, set-in-stone-topping pizzas. More interesting pizzas for me!
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:36 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


The proper way to do this is a white pizza with spinach and pineapple.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:37 AM on February 22, 2017


Pineapple and broccoli on a white pizza is also good.

The Hawaiian pizza is basically the worst way to have pineapple on a pizza, but even then it's not bad.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:38 AM on February 22, 2017


That CBC interview is gold. Sam Panopoulos is my new hero. I mean what kind of mad man invents "Hawaiian pizza" in Ontario? Old Canadian dude with Greek accent just tells it like he sees it. President of Iceland? He's not impressed.

Stay for the end where he praises a particular brand of frozen pizzas and their "nice soft crust". He made pizza in the 60s and retired twenty years back. No fucks to give now.
posted by Nelson at 8:15 AM on February 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


This story headline works for both Iceland the country and Iceland the frozen grocery store.
posted by srboisvert at 8:15 AM on February 22, 2017


'Pineapple' is neither pine nor apple, just like 'guinea pigs' are neither pigs nor from Guinea. In conclusion, pineapple is a better pizza topping than guinea pigs.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:24 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


But really, people used to put freaking anchovies on a pizza, and why? Little obviously dead fish (or at least that's what it looked like the one time I saw anchovies on a pizza, on a cruise ship)? That's hella gross. At the very least, can't you disguise the food so it doesn't look like you're an evil carnivore?

The Romans used to use a condiment called garum, which was fermented putrified fish intestines, left in the sun for a bit. They apparently used it liberally throughout their cuisine. The reason for doing such a thing is that umami is one of the fundamental types of flavour, and adding it to a (savoury) dish usually improves it. These days we still do that, often using anchovies. However, as they're deployed on a pizza, this is almost always a failed endeavour. Hence I recommend avoiding anchovies on pizza.

As for the issue at hand, pineapple is neutral as a pizza topping. But despite having eaten one the other day, the combination of ham and pineapple is a tasteless abomination, both because of the poor quality of what usually passes for "ham" on pizza and the lack of effort in coordinating flavours evident in a pizza with only those two toppings. Avoid.

(Pineapple, jalapeno, and bacon or salami shows a modicum of culinary sophistication.)
posted by iffthen at 8:56 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Technically I believe it's canadia bacon it comes with when I get it from Zeeks. But yes, avoid shitty ham.
posted by Artw at 8:57 AM on February 22, 2017


Stay for the end where he praises a particular brand of frozen pizzas and their "nice soft crust". He made pizza in the 60s and retired twenty years back. No fucks to give now.

He's not wrong, those German frozen pizzas are better than they have any right to be.
posted by rodlymight at 8:59 AM on February 22, 2017


Your favorite pizza sucks.
posted by theora55 at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


One of the most disturbing things I have ever heard in my life is that in Sweden, people eat spaghetti with a fork and knife.

You eat spaghetti with a fork and a spoon, not with a fork and a knive:

As to the use of a fork plus a spoon for eating pasta, all those at the table were adamant. Spoons are for children, amateurs and people with bad table manners in general.


Not trying to derail, but this reminds me of Colm Toibin's recently adapted book to film, Brooklyn. There's a scene where the main character is concerned about eating dinner with her Italian bf and his family and making a good impression. She practices how to eat pasta in her boarding house with her friends. It's very cute.
posted by Fizz at 9:33 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Hence I recommend avoiding anchovies on pizza.

I mean, YMMV. But almost no pizza place even bothers carrying anchovies any more, so it's a bit of a moot point.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:37 AM on February 22, 2017


For me it isn't about authenticity or whatever. In Italy you can get pizza with figs and prosciutto, which is delish, and nutella pizza, which I haven't tried, and tons of other weird variations.
Also, I love pineapple. Unfortunately, I can't eat them raw, but canned and cooked pineapple is a feast for gods, and I've favorited that Thai recipe above for trying out soon.
Nope, it is the combination of a soggy crust, too much red sauce, too much cheese, bad ham and soggy pineapple which you will always get at those places that serve Hawaii pizza because they have no respect for the core concepts of pizza.
posted by mumimor at 9:40 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Does it really matter what these hungry people put on their pizza — so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!
posted by Ber at 9:48 AM on February 22, 2017


Ctl-F "clam" and only one brief mention in a thread largely about seafood pizza? I am disappoint. New Haven is famous for its clam pizza, especially old favorites Pepe's (now in multiple New England locations), Sally's and Modern.
posted by carmicha at 9:52 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Technically I believe it's canadia bacon

Canadian Bacon is just ham. It's a back cut, not a side. It's lean, not fatty. It's cured but not smoked. It's thinly sliced often, but in terms of texture and taste, it's closer to ham from a picnic shoulder than the smoked, sometimes cured, side pork that is termed bacon.

But by far the biggest difference is that bacon is a vegetable, while "Canadian" back bacon is ham.
posted by bonehead at 10:37 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


The Romans used to use a condiment called garum, which was fermented putrified fish intestines, left in the sun for a bit.

Some fish sauce for your pineapple pizza maybe?
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:42 AM on February 22, 2017


Somewhere I have a photo of a "fruits of the sea" pizza I was served in a little waterfront town west of Pisa. It was beautifully composed, all symetrically arranged, and at the tip of each slice was a tiny octopus with its tentacles folded down into the point.

i'm sorry, i need to go back up in the thread to this, because this is the thing that will be giving me nightmares tonight
posted by burgerrr at 10:43 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Almost 100 comments in and no one else seems at all surprised that pineapple-on-pizza was invented in Canada? Did I miss the Heritage Minute about Sam Panopoulos?
posted by mhum at 10:44 AM on February 22, 2017


The Romans used to use a condiment called garum, which was fermented putrified fish intestines, left in the sun for a bit. They apparently used it liberally throughout their cuisine.

You can buy recreations of it if you're really fussed. But Worcester sauce is a nearish relative. Thai fish sauce is also in the same constellation. Ketchups are arguably attempts to emulate it with cheaper ingredients too.
posted by bonehead at 10:47 AM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


more or less the only two flavors that seem to exist in modern northern Italy

I'm not sure that's the best place to get pizza. When I worked in Glasgow, one of my colleagues came from Naples. I asked him where to get good pizza. He told me you couldn't get good pizza outside of Naples. Since then I've tried to find genuine Neapolitan-style pizza, ideally cooked in a wood-fired oven (makes a big difference). This strategy had served me well in Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne and many other places.

Pineapple pizza isn't really pizza in my book. It's like cheese hummous. Or vanilla flavoured coffee. If you have to mess around adding odd things to something that should be great anyway, then you probably have missed the point. Perhaps if your pizza comes from Dominos or Papa John's you have to do something to make it palatable.
posted by 1head2arms2legs at 10:59 AM on February 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I once tried oysters on (someone else's) pizza. It was the only time I have ever eaten oyster and it was underwhelming. There was no pineapple
posted by Myeral at 11:26 AM on February 22, 2017


Came across this...the Village Voice looked into this a few years back:

I called the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, but no one there had heard this Hawaiian pizza origin story, although they did give me the phone number of the guy who owns the space where Family Circle used to be. Unfortunately, he does not answer his phone.

Over at the Chatham Daily News, Ellwood Shreve, a reporter who covers human interest stories about the people of the area, was positively tickled. "I was born and raised in Chatham, and I almost forgot about that place," he said of the Family Circle Restaurant. But he had not heard the invention claim.

"Try Bob Boughner," he said. "If anyone will know, it's him. He started here around 1960."

Boughner said he remembered the restaurant and the guy, but that he didn't recall the Hawaiian pizza connection.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:27 AM on February 22, 2017


I really don't understand the virulent hate-on for pineapple (or anything else) on pizza. You have complete control over what goes on your pizza. If you don't like something, don't order it. No need to fascistically limit the choices of others based on your own tastes. Or, in short: Fuck you, I like it.

Also, this sort of anti-choice pizza moaning always seems to come from someplace like the UK or Scandinavia where they barely even know what the fuck a pizza even is. STFU, noobs.

It's the ham that is the problem on "Hawaiian." Ham really does not pizza well at all. Comes out of the oven tasting like a slice of eraser someone peed on. But, hey, if you like it, you do you.

Me = Pepperoni, green pepper, onions, pineapple.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:50 AM on February 22, 2017 [8 favorites]


You have complete control over what goes on your pizza.

Clearly we were raised by different parents...

That actually goes a long way toward explaining why I don't remember you at family dinners.
posted by Naberius at 12:20 PM on February 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'd settle for if the pizza joint in town could learn to turn out a slice that isn't just an oily mass of low-grade cheese on a soggy, disintegrating layer of unevenly cooked bread-product. I could produce something more palatable and recognizably pizza-like with a couple slices of American, a stale tortilla, and a toaster oven. They have "pizza" right in the name of the place, too, so it's not like they've got a lot of excuses.

The great failing of pizza in the United States, at least, is that while there must be a hundred perfectly excellent regional styles, everything from industrially produced chain product to the most authentic wood-fired whatever is capable of being delicious, and it should be virtually impossible to really and truly fuck up once you know how to make some kind of basic dough and take things out of the oven on time, the average person who thinks "I know! I will sell pizza!" just seems to leap immediately to "I know, I'll just put a fuck ton of cheese on there, they'll love it". It's especially pronounced in small towns, in bottom-of-the-barrel regional chains like Blackjack, etc., but it seems pretty widespread all over the country.

Pineapple, by contrast to constantly fucking up all the ratios, is fine.
posted by brennen at 1:39 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


(Pizza stones aren't that expensive, if you have a proper oven that one will fit into! Most grocery stores will sell bags of pre-made dough, and it's not that hard to make your own if your local grocery store doesn't! Pizza eaters of the world, unite! You have the pie to gain and nothing to lose but your chain restaurants!)
posted by tobascodagama at 1:52 PM on February 22, 2017


I also love anchovies on pizza ... anchovies and pineapple on pizza is a nice combination of sweet, salty, and savory.

Yes fimbulvetr this is my favorite also! But I'm going to have to try toasting the pineapple, as suggested above. I've always just sprinkled it on, direct from the Dole can.

almost no pizza place even bothers carrying anchovies any more, so it's a bit of a moot point.

Au contraire, tobascodagama. At those mainstream American pizza places, perhaps -- those serving up the goopy pies with the inedible, doughy crusts; not enough tomato sauce, and too much cheese* -- but any place serving even slightly Italian pizza will have anchovies available.

* Let the pizza wars begin!
posted by Rash at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2017


[Fruits of the Sea pizza] is the thing that will be giving me nightmares tonight
posted by burgerrr at 12:43 PM on February 22 [+] [!]


Eponysterical. Eat-pizza-sterical. Eat-pizza-hysterical.
posted by carmicha at 2:26 PM on February 22, 2017


"I never get why people do the 'meat and fruit eugh' thing and then eat turkey with cranberry sauce or duck and orange."

For me it's part of a strong general aversion to anything sweet that's not a dessert/candy. For example, I strongly dislike spaghetti sauces that fall on the sweet side of the spectrum). I'm extremely umami oriented; I also dislike most vegetables. Beef broth flavor, mushrooms, and cheeses (and I love blue cheeses) -- those are the kinds of flavors I strongly gravitate toward. And hot spices. And I really like garlic, although I admit that it's a bit sweet. (I am baffled that someone above complained about garlic on pizza -- for me, that's one great test of a quality pizza joint, if they offer coarsely chopped/roasted garlic.)

I love American-style bacon (fatty belly cut rashers, smoked and cured), but I don't like ham. Ham is like the least meaty of the red meats to me, and I especially dislike the (American?) traditional roast ham with pineapple. So those as pizza toppings just don't work for me. I wouldn't like any fruit or anything notably sweet.

What constitutes a proper pizza is one of those discussions/arguments that crops up here and elsewhere every once in a while, where people get all prescriptive about it. I think it's sort of awesome that pizza has propagated around the world and in the process exists in apparently endless variation. The Japanese have some especially creative ideas about pizza, I understand. But, hey, in the immortal words of Frank Zappa:
"Whatever you can do to have a good time, let's get on with it,
So long as it doesn't cause a murder . . ."
That pretty much includes enjoying pineapple on pizza. That's good enough for me.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:55 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I just realized what was bothering me about the question about pasta utensils, because I kept getting confused about the concept of holding two utensils at all, but I still felt like I should normally have something in my non-fork hand.

And that something is garlic bread. Or bread sticks. Or flatbread, or some sort of warm, garlicky bread-shaped object which to help in pasta twirling, spearing or scooping, for mopping up sauce.

I mean I don't care if you use a spoon or a fork or a knife, but the whole knife/spoon and fork concept is just confounding, short of approaching a particularly intimidating slab of lasagna.
posted by loquacious at 3:08 PM on February 22, 2017


iffthen: However, as [anchovies are] deployed on a pizza, this is almost always a failed endeavour.

This is true. I had no idea how good pizza marinara with anchovies was until I had one properly made. The thing almost every pizza place messes up is not washing the salt off the anchovies before putting them on the pizza. Well made pizza marinara is delicious.
posted by Kattullus at 3:21 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, this sort of anti-choice pizza moaning always seems to come from someplace like the UK or Scandinavia where they barely even know what the fuck a pizza even is. STFU, noobs.

You're confused. As I pointed out just the other day, the most popular pizza in Sweden is "my personal choice of toppings because what I put on my pizza is nobody else's business". A standard Hawaii is #5.

Cannot vouch for the brits, though. People who put spaghetti on toast cannot be trusted.

(My nearest pizza joint, run by Italians, launched a "spaghetti pizza" a bit back. Latest trend from Italy, they claimed. Someone burned down the place a couple of months later.)

There's a scene where the main character is concerned about eating dinner with her Italian bf and his family and making a good impression.

The only thing my Italian friends tell me is important when in Italy is to avoid tipping, because that'll make me look like a tourist. Pointing out that I am a tourist doesn't seem to work.
posted by effbot at 4:59 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm not really a fan of pineapple + ham pizza, but you know what I would try?

An al pastor and pineapple pizza. Now that it's occurred to me, I'm kind of surprised I've never seen it.
posted by flaterik at 5:47 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm not a fan of ham & pineapple, but I love pepperoni and pineapple, or really anything spicy + pork + pineapple.

The worst pizza I was ever served was velveeta and broccoli. You've got to go pretty goddamn far down the gourmet oddball topping rabbithole to come even close to that awful.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:07 PM on February 22, 2017


I really like pineapple on pizza, but I fully admit to being a fan of the sweet + savory combination. (I also like broccoli on my pizza so I guess I'm just one of Those People.)

My preferences are pepperoni, pineapple, and mushroom, plus broccoli, bacon, and mushroom. Mushrooms make everything tastier.
posted by PearlRose at 9:39 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


I've had Icelandic pizza. It looks like pizza, but it doesn't taste like pizza. You should be eating Icelandic seafood, yes! But eat the seafood without the pizza.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 7:17 PM on February 23, 2017


Okay so, this is my idle Friday Question of the Day: why is Hawaiian Pizza consist of Pineapple & Ham (or Bacon), but not Pineapple & SPAM?

It just hit me that if you're gonna do a Hawaiian Pizza, why not go full Hawai'i?
posted by FJT at 9:21 AM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's not really a "Hawaiian" pizza so much as a tiki-culture pizza. I assume the inventor had never actually been to Hawaii but knew it through Elvis beach movies and stuff.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:52 AM on February 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


To me, cooked pineapple combined with red sauce tastes just like I threw up in my mouth.
posted by conic at 4:10 PM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ella Fynoe: I've had Icelandic pizza. It looks like pizza, but it doesn't taste like pizza.

There are plenty of awful pizza places in Iceland, but there are a few excellent ones. Hornið is a sitdown restaurant in downtown Reykjavík that has been making superb pizzas since the 80s. Gamla smiðjan is a no frills place, also downtown, that makes very good pizza. There are a few other places who approach them in quality. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few places that are quite popular and even celebrated who make pizzas of the kind you describe.
posted by Kattullus at 12:22 AM on February 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


To me, cooked pineapple combined with red sauce tastes just like I threw up in my mouth.

So that's what's in Ranch dressing?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:29 AM on February 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


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