Opinion: Only the ignorant discriminate… against pineapple pizza


A homemade attempt at the Hawaiian style pizza. Photo Credit: Everitt Johanson

Emilia Helbig, Staff Writer

This is not the typical article everyone has already read trying to convince you why pineapple pizza is either delicious or a crime against humanity. Everybody can have their own opinion about that. And it is for sure that people have strong opinions about it. Once, the president of Iceland even said he would “ban pineapple pizza if he could”. This is addressing a much larger issue, the biased discrimination many treat the pizza with before even trying it. 

It is widely known that everyone has a different taste and that is perfectly normal. In fact, it would be very weird if out of all the foods, pineapple pizza was the one everyone liked. It would also be stupid if I tried to argue with you whether your sense of taste on pineapple pizza is right or wrong, as there simply is no right or wrong about that, biologically. 

Now what I will argue with you on is if you have an opinion on pineapple pizza without even having tried it. That counts for basically every kind of food, but especially on this specific kind of pizza, a narrative has developed that causes many people to have strong negative feelings about it solely based on the rumors and others’ opinions about it.

Admittedly, the Hawaiian pizza is easy to hate. A 2017 YouGov Poll found that 47% of the people surveyed claimed to dislike pineapple on pizza, although 82% of the people surveyed said they liked pineapple. Pineapple itself was No. 11 on a list of the most popular fruits purchased in America in 2020, behind Peaches and Avocados but ahead of cherries, pears and raspberries. That means the fruit itself is not the issue with pineapple pizza for most people. So maybe some people are just using pineapple pizza because it is a safe way to hate as a method to project their negative feelings onto inanimate foods.

One of the most common answers, when asked why they won’t try pineapple pizza, is that “fruit does not belong on pizza”. Well, quite literally the Oxford definition of pizza, “a flat, round base of dough baked with a topping of tomato sauce and cheese” proves the opposite, as tomatoes themselves are considered fruits. That means if you like pizza, you inherently have to like at least the taste of some fruit on it. Even in Italy, the capitol of pizza itself, and elsewhere, fig pizza is very popular, again a fruit, and also pear and apple as a topping. So, how would you know you don’t like the taste of fruit, especially pineapple, on pizza if you haven’t tried it?

Based off personal experience, I know that a lot of people don’t want to try it because it is such a popular opinion that Hawaiian pizza is bad. Because many people say so, many people trust that and think it must be right. That is how that narrative has developed so well. They are influenced by that and their friends and family. Chances are, that if your friend group or family loves pineapple pizza, for the most part, you won’t be so negatively biased about it and try it someday, so that you can have your own opinion. 

Despite the name, it did not originate in the US state of Hawaii. The pizza was actually created in Canada in 1962 by a Greek immigrant called Sam Panopoulos, who had a restaurant with his brothers in Ontario.I strongly believe that if some famous chef like Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver had introduced the concept of fruit like pineapple on pizza, the public’s opinion about it would have been very different because of their reputation and hence influence. Probably, people would have raved over the genius and interesting move to combine the sweet taste of pineapple with the savory aromas of pizza and they would have been way more willing to at least try it. 

It does need to be mentioned that Ramsay himself is not a big fan of pineapple pizza. He once said, “You don’t put … pineapple on pizza.” Before “pineapple”, he used an expressive adjective to emphasize his contempt.

To not support any specific side of the argument about pineapple pizza it also needs to be added that Arun Gupta, a famous chef and food writer, mentioned in a story for the Wall Street Journal in 2018 that the disdain for Hawaiian pizza is “just another form of cultural elitism”. Gupta himself is a fan of pineapple pizza. 

Well after all of this, if you once belonged to the group of people discriminating against pineapple pizza before having tried it, I hope that you don’t anymore and might as well give pineapple pizza at least a chance. Otherwise, you’d never know if Hawaiian pizza is maybe your hidden passion.