Pineapple or No Pineapple?

pizzerialocale Pizza Style

There’s an expression, “there’s no accounting for taste,” and in our business that’s particularly true. What is it that makes one person love a certain combination of flavors, while another person finds that combination inedible? Some folks want to put mushrooms, for example, on everything, while others would be grateful to never see another mushroom in their lives.

To pineapple or not to pineapple?

Arguably the most divisive food and taste-related debate is over the question of whether pineapple is an appropriate pizza topping. It is, in fact, what we might consider the Great Pizza Controversy, even more divisive than whether the pizza’s sauce should be red or white. But we have to ask—are a few chunks of tangy pineapple on a pizza really that contentious?

Apparently so. According to a 2017 poll by Public Policy Polling, the United States is a nation divided over whether or not pineapple is an acceptable pizza topping, with 47 percent of Americans approving, 32 percent disapproving, and 20 percent not sure about the combination.

Even its history is mired in controversy! Far from the island beaches that gave the pizza its name, Hawaiian pizza (with several toppings that included pineapple) apparently first appeared in Portland, Oregon, in 1957, at a place called Francine’s Pizza Jungle. Five years later, Sam Panopoulos created what he claimed to be the first Hawaiian pizza at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, using canned pineapple. (The fact of it being canned is important, because it was the brand of pineapple—“Hawaiian”—that gave the subsequent pizza its name.) Who gets the credit—or, depending on your point of view, the blame? Most sources point to Sam; certainly Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks so: in 2017 he tweeted, “I have a pineapple. I have a pizza. And I stand behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation.”

Celebrities from Gordon Ramsey (who says pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza) to Jeff Goldblum (who says he loves pineapple on pizza) have all weighed in; but their taste isn’t really what matters. What matters is the taste of everyone who comes into a Pizzeria Locale.

The Pizzeria Locale take on the controversy

So where do we stand on the pineapple issue?

We, too, have strong beliefs on the subject: we think pineapple does indeed belong on pizza. Why? Because we believe you should be the one to decide. We believe you should be able to eat pizza any way you want. Unlike, the original Hawaiian pizza our fresh pineapple to prepared daily too.

Think about it. No other type of food has the same kind of “topping police” that seem to want to regulate pizza. No one tells you the only way to eat French fries is dipped in mayonnaise, or that you’re not supposed to put tomatoes on your hamburger, right? So why do people get so worked up over pineapple? It’s a mystery to us! You would think that what someone else chooses to put on a pizza affects no one but that person, but in the case of Hawaiian pizza, you would apparently be wrong.

The argument

If you think pineapple isn’t an acceptable pizza topping because “it doesn’t taste good,” what we suggest you give ours a try. Pairing salty and sweet flavors brings out the best in both. Think about the addition of sea salt to caramel or chocolate. There’s nothing better than a little bit of sweetness to cut through a salty food like pizza, and pineapple adds a pop of sweet to the flavor profile.

Besides, there are people who are passionate about our special pear and gorgonzola pizzas, which deliver the same sweet/salty mix. So—why are pears okay, but not pineapple?

There are of course purists who claim pineapple is unacceptable on pizza because it’s not Italian… to that, we answer that pineapple probably existed in Italian food culture before pepperoni ever did, and we don’t hear a lot of people complaining that pepperoni doesn’t “belong” on a pizza! In fact, there are myriad popular pizza toppings that aren’t particularly Italian, but that taste absolutely great.

But also… just plain good

We think our Hawaiian pizza is absolutely, fantastically delicious. We use smoked mozzarella, add ham and pineapple—and, for an added blast of flavor, we toss in some jalapenos as well. So why don’t you settle the controversy for yourself? Come on in and let us show you how Hawaiian can be done right… freshly prepared ingredients on a four ingredients pizza crust and charred to perfection in our super hot Neapolitan smart oven.