There is a lot of debate about one type of pizza, and that is the Hawaiian pizza. People either hate it or they love it with very little middle ground. There is a lot of controversy where Hawaiian pizza even originated. Is it out of Hawaii or is there even really a Hawaiian pizza? So, who was the first person to put pineapple and Canadian bacon on a pizza? Today, Mr. Pizza would like to put to rest the origins of the Hawaiian pizza.
Is Hawaiian Pizza Actually Hawaiian?
It may come as a surprise that the first place pineapple was used on a pizza was in a small town called Chatham, in Ontario, Canada. Canada is far away from the shores of Hawaii, so why it is called a Hawaiian pizza? The first restaurant that has been given credit to use pineapple on a pizza was the Satellite Restaurant, by chief Sam Panopoulos. He is known as the father of the Hawaiian pizza. The Satellite Restaurant wasn’t a pizzeria but offered mostly cheeseburgers. Later the restaurant expanded and offered American Chinese cuisine back in the 1960’s. However before we get into the origins of the Hawaiian pizza, it helps to understand how pizza made it to the America’s.
How Did Pizza Get from Italy to America?
Pizza became very popular in North America and Canada during the second world war. The soldiers and servicemen that returned home from the war and service in Italy, fell in love with the pizza. Pizza quickly became a staple in North America and Canada. In the late 1950’s pizza was being offered in restaurants throughout Canada. In 1962, Sam Panopoulos of the Satellite Restaurant, was the first person to open a can of pineapple and put it on a pizza. A number of other toppings accompanied pineapple until everyone favored ham, bacon and pineapple. There is little known about the inspiration and why Panopoulos created the Hawaiian Pizza and why he labeled it as a Hawaiian pizza.
Why Was Pineapple Pizza Invented?
However, it was during the 1950’s and 1960’s the servicemen were returning home from the war, bringing pizza back with them. At the same time, the Tiki culture was exploding around the world. During the 1960’s the Hawaiian culture and life style was becoming more and more popular. People fell in love with the Island and the culture. At this point in time, the export of canned pineapple was coming out of Hawaii and the Philippines. So, there may have been an abundance of canned pineapple and restaurant owners were trying to find ways to incorporate this fruit in more of their dishes. Perhaps Panopoulos was trying to find ways to use pineapple with some of his more popular dishes. This is one of the more accepted hypothesis about the reasons behind the Hawaiian pizza. Due to the pineapple as the primary topping, this may be why this pizza has been named a Hawaiian pizza.
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It is hard to say why a Canadian restaurant created the Hawaiian pizza. However the credit of this pizza goes to Sam Panopoulos. Whether you hate or love Hawaiian pizza, it has become a stable and is found in most pizzerias. If you are part of the group who love Hawaiian pizza and need to satisfy your cravings, call or come by Mr. Pizza and order your favorite pizza today.