A Brief History of Hawaiian Pizza

List of things invented by the Greeks:

  • Olympics
  • Running
  • Civilisation/Society
  • Science
  • Halloumi
  • Effie
  • Hawaiian Pizza

Sam Panopoulos: Fricking champion. Imagine the scene. 1962, small town Canada, Ukelele mania is sweeping the world. The Aloha State has only just been added to the union, grass skirts are everywhere. Surfing is the bomb. You’re young. You’re smart, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re in the pizza restaurant business. What are you going to do to to ensure you absolutely kill it at next year’s Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce small business cafe innovation awards? Pineapple; ham. Bam.

Hawaiians hate it apparently. As do Canadians. As does everyone else, except us. Ham and pineapple is the most popular topping in Australia, at least according to a broken hyperlink reference on Wikipedia. I can’t find any recent research to back that stat up, but given that chicken menu items generally incur an additional fee of between $1.1-1.2 million, it doesn’t surprise me. In fact, I used to work as a Dominos delivery boy in Western Sydney when I was at uni and I must admit, the thing they seemed to want the most of, other than flannelette and heroin, was Hawaiian pizza.

Pineapple and ham naturally do go so well together so it’s no surprise Sam Panopoulos saw the connection. Pineapple contains the enzyme ‘bromelain’, which breaks down protein (meat is made of protein, so are protein shakes and body builders and Chinese swimmers), so when you have a fatty animal like pig, duck, or westie, throwing some pineapple their way can make them a lot more tender (depending on your aim).

I used to love ham and pineapple pizza when I was a kid so I thought I’d have a crack at making a more grown up version of this Italian/Canadian/Greek/French/Polynesian favourite. My food blog MaTTsterChef has the ingredients/method in a post I’ve entitled ‘The Fricking Ultimate Hawaiian Pizza Recipe‘. It may possibly *cough* be a thinly veiled way to write off a dinner party on tax as ‘research’ for a client, or it may not. That’s between me and Rob Oakeshott though really (he is the Treasurer now isn’t he?).

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