The Rough End Of a Pineapple

Food is controversial.

Just ask anyone whose family contains at least one vegan member and a cousin whose partner’s brother’s uncle works in an abattoir.

Words like Organic, Raw, Keto or Paleo can cause more inflammation than mainlining gluten.

Pineapple on pizza seems to be another minefield, although the arguments on both sides seem to lack any kind of science to back them up.

After all, it’s not like pineapples have souls.

Quite why pineapple on pizza became such an enormous divide is hard to explain.

The first recorded ‘Hawaiian’ pizza with the sometimes offending fruit was actually made and sold in Canada, of all things.

A Greek immigrant (so, neither Italian NOR Hawaiian) by the name of Sam Panopoulos added little cubes of tinned sunshine to an otherwise fruit free ham pizza back in the 1960s and, voila, families stopped inviting each other over for casual dining night almost immediately.

In 2017 Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson, then President of Iceland, nearly caused a proper food fight when he suggested that, if he had the power, he would ban pineapple on pizza in his country. Subsequently, the Icelandic Embassy in London found itself on the receiving end of a constant stream of Hawaiian pies.

This is a far cry from the days when pineapples themselves were such a luxurious item that King Charles II even posed for his official portrait receiving a pineapple as a gift.

Indeed, people in the 17th century used to ‘rent’ pineapples as a display item at dinner parties, and those actually rich enough may even buy one and serve it to their guests! As food!!

Forget gold cutlery and hot and cold running servants, this was a sign of truly having made it.

There is a rather grim story about Christopher Columbus having been offered either human body parts or pineapple on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493. Columbus and his crew went for the fruit option, and the rest, they say, is history. It appears that Columbus managed to get a non-rotten example back to Europe, and that is when the craze began, however, just 500 years later, it appears some people would opt for extra fingers on a pizza rather than desecrate the ideals of Italian cuisine.

Regardless of how you feel about pineapple on a pizza, there is one place a ring of tinned pineapple most distinctly DOES belong, and that’s on a great Aussie hamburger, above the fried egg, but near the slice of tinned beetroot.

Take THAT Iceland.


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