By Alexandrianna De La Cerda
Have you ever wondered, who thought it was a good idea to put pineapple on pizza? It sure wasn’t the Italians.
Whether diced pineapples belong on triangular pieces of bread with tomato sauce, cheese, and meat has always been up for debate. Some people enjoy the taste while others, like myself, gag at the thought of it.
Pizza originated in Italy, a country whose culture is based very much on food and family. In such cultures, keeping things traditional is essential when passing down customs. Pizza typically has vegetables, sauce, and a variety of meats on it. Although pizza was first viewed as a dish served to the lower class in the 1700’s, it has has since become food for all classes of people.
In 1889 King Umberto I and Queen Margherita visited Naples, where the two craved something different from their average French cuisine. They requested to eat a variety of pizzas in a small, popular pizzeria. The type the queen enjoyed the most is known today as a typical American pizza, minus the pepperoni, with mozzarella cheese, red tomatoes and green basil. From then on that pizza has been known as “Pizza Margherita.”
So who deviated from this royal tradition? Most people believe that the Hawaiians did, the roots of this theory stemming from its name: “Hawaiian Pizza.” The Hawaiians actually had nothing to do with it, however. And neither did America, which is surprising since we are known for our habit of altering food to fit larger portions, more calories, and so on.
Greek immigrant, Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada in 1954 where he experimented with many flavors and combinations of dishes from around the world, in the kitchen of his restaurant. One of those experiments was pineapple pizza, and its “sweet and sour” taste then grew in fame and spread throughout the North American continent.
Now my disgust at pineapple on pizza may be just be based in my roots as a picky eater when I was young. I liked my snow cones plain, nothing on my hot dogs and cheeseburgers, and even as a child I found candy and soda disgusting. So while this aspect of my life may be coming into play, I truly believe that sweet fruit and rich tomato sauce do not go together .
I am not alone, however. Take it from one of the world’s most acclaimed food critics, Gordon Ramsay, the chef from “Hell’s Kitchen” who is best known for his very strict standards for food. Ramsay shunned an audience member during his hosting of “The Nightly Show” when asking what toppings should he order on his pizzas. If the king of food says that pineapples do not belong on pizza need I say more?