“Sit down. We need to talk.” “You are so weird.” “Your test results are in.” For many, sentences like these cause an extreme level of anxiety. There is, however, one phrase that seems to induce such a high level of apprehension that societies have been ruined by the mere utterance of it. You guessed it, that phrase is “I like pineapple on my pizza!”
Seriously though, why do people find pineapple on pizza so offensive? Certain foods have been insulted plenty of times in their history, but none have taken the verbal beating that the Golden Hawaiian Pizza has been forced to endure. We don’t understand why. After all, pineapple is in the top 10 of toppings ordered at UCP year after year, and it consistently makes the top 10 topping lists put out by major print sources like the New York Times.
But the hate is real. The overly dramatic, yet popular chef Gordan Ramsay once said, “You don’t put … pineapple on pizza!” Of course, being who he is, he used a rather colorful adjective before pineapple to truly emphasize his dislike for the combination. The President of Iceland even said he would make it illegal to put pineapple on a pizza. To top it off, based on a 2017 survey: every person who is 55+ and lives in the Northeastern United States loathes pineapple on pizza!
Of course, there is the other perspective to this also. Arun Gupta, a well know food writer claims that this controversy is a form of cultural elitism. Dwayne Johnson claims, “pineapple on pizza is MY JAM!” and for what it’s worth even Justin Bieber is a pineapple believer.
So what drives this massive rift? Well, to answer that question, I pulled together a group of people to perform probably the least scientific study ever conducted. The sample group was small, not very diverse, but they were willing so, I ran with it.
To start, I wanted to get a feel for the group dynamic and their overall feelings about the topic. So we started with some basic survey questions. I was pleasantly surprised that about 60% of the group wasn’t against pineapple on pizza. But things got a little more heated when the verbal discussion started. Most of the people that I spoke with say it comes down to the cultural stigma that fruit doesn’t belong on a pizza. When pressed on the fact that tomatoes are fruit, my participants got angry and standoffish and called me names. (Obviously, the people I subjected to this test are my closest friends and family, I chose a great test group!) For others, the concept of cooked pineapple turned them off. There were also concerns about the pizza becoming watery from the pineapple juice, and some others were concerned they were going to be subjected to a pizza with huge chunks of ham or pineapple just tossed onto the top.
Well, this little experiment didn’t stop after a survey and a conversation. I had them try the Golden Hawaiian. Each pizza we opened was a perfect pie topped with our homemade red sauce, mozzarella, provolone, smoked ham, sweet golden pineapple, green onions, dates, and shredded coconut. Why not go all out, right?
Do you know what happened? They LOVED it! Well, most of them anyway. Some were not completely sold. But not one of them disliked it. Much to some of the more aggressive detractors chagrin, this pizza is good, and pineapple does belong on a pizza!
What did we learn from all of this? Some people are just not going to like the idea because that is who they are. Others will always love it! But for those on the fence or those at least willing to try it, a salty, sweet, cheesy, and delicious pizza is waiting for you to dive in. There is no need to be anxious about it. We are sure you will love it!