The History of Pineapple on Pizza

Wednesday Apr 29, 2020

It might be the largest debate in the history of all debates. Pineapple pizza: yes or no? No one stands somewhere in the middle. You're either intensely pro-pineapple or adamantly against it. Here at Hungry Howie's® we won't judge you either way, but if you're in the mood for pineapple pizza, definitely check out our Howie Maui Pie.

As pizza enthusiasts, we feel it's our duty to educate anyone and everyone on all types of pizza. Pineapple pizza included. So, what's the history behind the controversial pie? We're here to provide all the answers. 

The Origins of Pineapple on Pizza?

Did someone just wake up one day and decide to throw some pineapple slices on their pizza? It's possible. While we commonly refer to pineapple pizza as "Hawaiian Pizza," the dish didn't originate in Hawaii at all.

In fact, a gentleman by the name of Sam Panopoulos is widely credited with first crafting the pineapple pizza. Panopoulos, who passed away in 2017, was a Greek Canadian immigrant. He owned the Satellite Restaurant in Ontario. 

"Hawaiian Pizza" came from Canada? It seems that it did.

Sam Panopoulos's Idea for Pineapple Pizza

So, how did Panopoulos get the idea for such a recipe? It turns out that he was a jack of many trades, and had quite a bit of experience cooking traditional Chinese dishes. Chinese cuisine is known for mixing sweet and savory flavors. 

If you've ever ordered Sweet and Sour Chicken off the menu at a Chinese takeout restaurant you may have noticed a pineapple floating in the sauce. And hence, the idea for pineapple pizza was formed. 

The pie was christened "Hawaiian" after the namesake of the brand of pineapples Panopoulos first used. Pineapple pizza then spread around the world. 

Pineapple Pizza Around the World

While pineapple pizza began in Canada, it quickly caught on elsewhere. Found in America, Germany, Britain, Australia, and countless other countries, the pie has gained quite the following. In fact, TIME Magazine designated it as one of The 13 Most Influential Pizzas of All Time. 

Most influential doesn't mean most loved, though, and the popularity of pineapple pizza varies widely around the world. Pineapple pizza lovers and pineapple pizza haters stand firmly divided. Much research has been done to get to the bottom of it. Is pineapple pizza a yes or a no?

That's right. Research has been conducted. 

Pineapple Pizza in America

One study in American asked more than 34,000 people if they liked pineapple pizza. 54% answered that it was a hard no from them. Another concluded that 12% of Americans call pineapple their favorite pizza topping ever and 24% deem it to be their least favorite topping.

The research goes even further than that. Findings show that pineapple pizza is more popular on the west coast of America and that it's most popular among those aged 18-34.

Pineapple Pizza in Australia

While Americans take a hard stance on the issue of pineapple pizza, so do Australians. Pizza Marketing Quarterly found that at one point, pineapple pizza was the most popular type of pizza in the entire country. It comprised 15% of total pizza sales one year. 

Pineapple Pizza in Britain

The United Kingdom has studied pineapple pizza as well. One survey found that it was the most widely available pizza to Britons. Nearly 4,000 pizzerias throughout the region offer pineapple as an available topping. 

Controversy in Iceland

Perhaps no food has ever caused such a controversy as pineapple pizza. In Iceland, it caused a political debacle. Yes, a political debacle. Back in 2017 President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson described himself as being "fundamentally opposed" to the pizza topping in a public forum. He even said that he would ban pineapple pizza if he could.

The world went into an uproar. Social media was ablaze with pineapple pizza frenzy. Can a president ban a pizza topping?! Jóhannesson later issued a public statement apologizing for his remarks, explaining that they were merely a joke. 

Hungry Howie's® Howie Maui Pizza

While pineapple pizza divides people in the USA, here at Hungry Howie's® we're dedicated to serving each and every customer the pizza of their dreams. If you're a pineapple pizza lover look no further than the Howie Maui pizza. 

Decades back, when Panopoulos began experimenting with pineapple pizza recipes he drew from the inspiration of Chinese chefs and added savory meats into the mix. We followed the classic tradition that the father of pineapple pizza originally intended.

On our Howie Maui pizza, you'll find pineapple, of course, with smoked bacon, sliced ham, and our 100% mozzarella cheese. Add this to our fresh pizza dough that's made daily and you've got yourself a Hawaiian pizza made in heaven.

The Bottom Line on Pineapple Pizza in the USA

The history of pineapple pizza is one of intrigue. A pizza that's not from Italy? Not from America? Named after Hawaii but it's actually from Canada? It's certainly so. Believe it or not, pineapple pizza is a culmination of international cuisine.

It all came together to create the pie that's loved and hated today. Here at Hungry Howie's®, though, we're lovers of all things pizza. How can any pizza be bad? We don't believe it's possible. We're passionate about pizzas made with all topping combinations, and we're always up to try something new.

If you're wondering "Where can I find pineapple pizza near me?" just look for the closest Hungry Howie's® location. We have 550 stores across America in 22 states. There's bound to be a Hungry Howie's® near you. 

We promise you won't be let down by our Howie Maui Pizza. We're all about fresh ingredients of the highest quality and only the best combination flavors. If you think you're not a fan of pineapple pizza, give it a try. You might be surprised. 

Order a pineapple pizza for delivery, or come in and see our Hungry Howie's® family for carry out. Bring a pineapple pizza home for the entire family today.