List of things invented by the Greeks:
- 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 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 a more grown up version. I present to you a Italian/Canadian/Greek/French/Polynesian favourite:
The Fricking Ultimate Hawaiian Pizza Recipe
- A large slice (roughly 300g) of leg ham cut at least 1cm thick
- 1/4 of a fresh pineapple
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 1/2 a red onion
- 4 slices of Jarlsberg cheese
- Either buy it ready-made (because you’re lazy/time poor/living in a car), use tomato paste (tight-arse) or better still make your own reduction from garlic, basil, olive oil, salt and 3-4 fresh tomatoes from your garden (hippie), local farmers markets (yuppie) or supermarket (on the way back from soccer practice). Jamie has a decent easy recipe, but only use tinned tomatoes if you can’t find some super-red, super-ripe ones somewhere else.
- I use Neil Perry’s pizza dough recipe, mostly because I’m a celebrity chef tart and would cook my own toenails if someone with a TV show told me to. It also has honey in it, which goes with ham.
- You could buy a ready-made base if you want, but I would think less of you.
- Unless you were Neil Perry
- Put the base on the pizza stone (you’ve got a fricking pizza-stone don’t you?) and cook it just a little bit, until it gets a bit crispy on top, but not so crispy it’s black. Black is too crispy.
- Put the sauce on the base
- Put the toppings (rip up the ham along the grain, chop the pineapple into bits of your personal size preference, finely dice most of the rosemary, caramelise the onion) on the sauce
- Cut the cheese into sexy little strips about as wide as the word ‘wide‘ in 12px arial and put the cheese on the topppings.
- Cook until the cheese melts and goes a bit brown
- Lay a spring or two of rosemary on the tip so people think you’re fancy/own a food blog/watch Masterchef too often
- Nom nom nom