Tropic like it’s hot: the controversy on Hawaiian Pizza

Tropic like it’s hot: the controversy on Hawaiian Pizza

Savannah Williamson, Managing Editor

Throughout time, pizza has become one of the most loved and iconic foods known far and wide. How could it not be? A doughy crust, tomato sauce, cheese, and maybe some pepperoni. 

However, creating pizza is a show of utmost creativity and uses the spirit of good fun. Every variety is created and loved by many. For example, we have the classic cheese pizza, maybe a good old fashioned pepperoni pizza, and a wild risk taken with the meat lovers pizza. 

But when it comes to a certain pizza, one specifically made with ham and pineapple, all niceties and chivalry go out the window. Hawaiian pizza is the limit (apparently) when it comes to putting toppings on pizza. I don’t see why that is the case, and frankly, I enjoy pineapple on pizza; it’s wonderful. 

Let’s start from the beginning. According to History.com, a form of pizza has been around since the ancient Egyptians. It wasn’t until the early 1800s that the modern pizza emerged in Naples. It was eaten frequently by the city’s poor, the lazzaroni. The upper class population was rather disgusted with how the lazzaroni ate. Their pizza contained what was considered “cheap” ingredients, such as: oil, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, and occasionally anchovies.

A few years later in 1861, Naples became unified with the rest of Italy. However, pizza wouldn’t become popular in Italy until 1889. The visiting monarchs, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita, became so tired of eating French food that they decided to order several pizzas and give them a try. The queen loved one in particular. It had toppings of cheese, tomatoes and basil. She loved it so much it was named after her, and her name is still what we use today when we order a “Margherita” pizza. 

Eventually pizza came to America with Italian immigrants, and in 1905, the first licensed pizzeria owned by G. Lombardi started producing pizza for the regular consumption of Americans. Time went on and eventually we hit the 1940s and the second world war, and pizza was something simple and cheap to make while rationing was going on. After the second world war, people started to get creative. Pizza had new and (some would say) fantastic breakthroughs in toppings and sauce choices. Our particular pizza of interest was created in 1962.

Hawaiian pizza is neither Hawaiian nor American. (Here’s where we all start to fall apart) It was created in Canada in 1962 by a Greek immigrant. Hawaiian pizza originally succeeded in Canada and later in America because of the newly developing fascination of Tiki and Hawaiian culture due to Hawaii being added as a state in 1959.

So why the controversy? Could it be that fruit on a pizza is a foreign concept (albeit the tomato is a fruit, but I digress.) or that the thought of pineapple being put on something with cheese and meat is off putting? Some people argue that the acid in pineapple clashes with the acid in tomatoes. Others argue that pineapple is just too sweet and it clashes with the original texture of a good cheese pizza. However, the facts can’t disprove one thing. Hawaiian Pizza is healthier. According to myfooddata.com, the regular Hawaiian Pizza has significantly fewer calories, fats and carbohydrates than its pepperoni counterpart. 

Overall, Hawaiian pizza is the way to go. It’s flavorful, appealing to the eyes, and healthier. Pineapple being on pizza has had people up in arms over whether it belongs on pizza or not for decades. As for me, I quite enjoy the salty and sweet combination. It doesn’t deserve the hate it gets; It’s fantastic.

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