Why Pineapple Belongs on Pizza

The controversy explained

Walid AO
3 min readJun 13, 2022


Photo by Chad Montano on Unsplash

This question is one of the most hotly debated culinary questions in history, causing a divide among pizza lovers, friends, and family.

Today, once and for all, I'm here to explain why pineapple belongs on pizza — not a debate, just fact.

The controversy

Sweet and savory combinations are not unheard of. Where I live in Germany, McDonald's offers a sweet-sour sauce with the beloved McNuggets. So the sweet taste of pineapple combined with the saltiness of the cheese on a pizza shouldn't feel weird or new — I mean, come on, just google sweet and sour chicken recipes and look at the 1.4800.000.000 search results.

People, especially in western cultures, tend to pair ingredients together that share flavor components. However, this doesn't apply to cuisines from the other parts of the world, e.g., Duck with pear. Nevertheless, this method of food pairing (a non-registered trademark term) is still most favored within western cuisines.

The other part of the controversy claims that Italians (people to who we contribute pizza) would never put pineapple on their pizzas; thus, pineapple on pizza is a monstrosity.

The history

I'll make it quick. This dish has cosmopolitan origins and reach. It is a Canadian invention by a Greek immigrant, inspired by Chinese cuisine to put out American fruit on an Italian dish, which is not most popular in Australia.

Oh, you want the details now, don't you? — I'll help you out.

Sam Panopoulos, a Greek-born Canadian, created the first Hawaiian pizza at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, in 1962. He was inspired by his previous experience preparing Chinese dishes.

Photo by Irene Kredenets on Unsplash

Quick fact: The name, Hawaiian Pizza, is not inspired by the U.S. state of Hawaii; Panopoulos chose the name Hawaiian after the brand of canned pineapple he used at the time.

Why does pineapple belong on pizza?