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Pineapple on pizza?

You probably have at least one friend who vehemently hates the idea of pineapple on pizza, or maybe you’re one of those people yourself. Regardless, self-proclaimed pizza experts (pizza-ologists?) have been weighing in on this truly pertinent social issue since Greek-born chef Sam Panopoulos put pineapple on his pies at his Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Canada in the 1960s.

Since we care deeply about good pizza, here is a quick discussion about pineapple on pizza.

Well, why not?

A pizza’s value often comes in the form of its versatility, something that even a non-pineapple purist like Chef Carron points out in the Independent. Carron’s restaurant serves pineapple on its pizzas because it’s an often-requested topping. Other expert pizza chefs mentioned include Scott Weiner, who gives tours of famous pizzerias around New York City, who points out that Italian purism is a moot point given the fact that pizzas nowadays are served with decidedly non-Meditteranean toppings like buffalo chicken, ranch dressing, or roasted corn.

Weiner, much like Carron, also makes the valuable distinction that pineapple is perfectly acceptable on pizza as long as it is done right; just like any other ingredient. This leads perfectly to our next point...

Doing pineapple the right way

Matters of taste aside, one important thing to remember about the culinary arts is that food should be prepared well. Throwing some sad bits of canned pineapple onto a pizza is likely what gave the topping such a bad rap to begin with; so if you’re eager to redeem the citrus fruit’s name in the halls of pizza pie fame, follow some of our tips:

Make use of pineapple’s broad flavor profile

Pineapple, like any citrus, has a unique combination of acidity, tartness, and sweetness. Its flavor profile, described as highly tropical with delicate undertones of caramel, butters, greens, and roasted notes by Foodpairings, means that pineapple will play best with dishes and cooking methods that highlight its subdued flavors and prevent it from overpowering the taste buds on your pizza.

Perfect pineapple pairs

Pizza toppings that will make pineapple shine include those as diverse as garlic, savory and hot spices like allspice, paprika or even chili according to Leaf, and meaty foods like pork, mushrooms, and onions, all of which are great candidates for caramelization and glazing to complement a pineapple’s amiable undertones.

Experiment with pineapple toppings that strike every area of the tongue, like combinations with pulled pork, grilling or broiling pineapple before topping your pizza with it, or even recipes as exotic as Food Network’s pineapple kimchi.

Things to avoid

Because pineapple has a lot of acidities, toppings like tomatoes, pickled toppings like sauerkraut or cucumber pickles, or some acidic meats and fish may overwhelm the palate, even if these dishes are not particularly abrasive on their own. Including other sweet dishes without first reducing or caramelizing them may also tip the flavor balance of your pizza too far.

In short, pineapple can go on pizza; just make sure it doesn’t suck!

To find more recipes, with and without pineapples, check out our e-Book with lots of pizza oven recipes!


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