The Pizza Topping Debate Is Never Ending | Cooking With Jade

The Pizza Topping Debate Is Never Ending

The Pizza Topping Debate Is Never Ending
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Pizza: The Italian import that has become one of America’s most popular foods. Like most classic American foods, pizza is subject to endless debate: thick or thin crust? Triangle or square slices? White sauce or red? Of course, some of the most heated debate surrounds what goes on a pizza. Most meat-lovers agree that pepperoni is a must, but aside from that, toppings range from the debatable (olives?) to the downright controversial (we’re looking at you, anchovies).


Girl Holding a Pizza Slice


Pineapple On Pizza?

Perhaps one of the most hotly debated pizza toppings out there is pineapple. Personally, I’m all for it: I love the contrast that the sweet tropical fruit brings to a pizza. As a pizza topping, pineapple is often combined with ham or Canadian bacon (another controversial pizza topping). This combination is often referred to as a “Hawaiian pizza.” Shockingly enough, the Hawaiian pizza originated in Canada. No, you didn’t read that wrong—back in the 1960s, Sam Panapoulos, a Greek immigrant to Canada, popularized this pizza topping at his Satellite Restaurant in Ontario. The Satellite Restaurant is still going strong and remains a popular spot for lovers of this most divisive of pizzas. Whether Panapoulos is the ultimate pizza sinner or a pizza saint is for you to decide.




Meanwhile, In New England…

If you ask someone from coastal New England what their favorite pizza topping is, they might tell you “clams.” That is because New England – specifically New Haven, CT (a mecca for any pizza lover) – is home to the white clam pizza. This unique white sauce pizza is believed to have originated at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven. Clams are added to the pizza, shells and all. While the thought of clams – and open clam shells – on a pizza might scare some diners away, New Englanders swear by this briny combination.




We Have To Talk About Anchovies

Anchovies are the quintessential hated pizza topping. I, for one, think they are simply misunderstood. Like clams, anchovies add a salty, briny flavor to the pizza. In this case, it’s a flavor that complements a robust red sauce. The problem with anchovies, and the reason I believe they are such a hated pizza topping, is that they are often of such poor quality. These tender little fish – which have been gracing pizzas in the Naples region of Italy for centuries – are often tinny and oversalted. This is a “go big or go home” type of topping: the cheap stuff will ruin a pizza, but quality anchovies can greatly enhance it.




Barbeque On Pizza

If there is one thing Americans love almost as much as pizza, it’s barbecue. Maybe it was inevitable then, that barbecue would find its way on top of pizza. You’ve probably seen thin crust pizza topped with chicken and a drizzle of sweet barbecue sauce. But have you ever seen pulled pork BBQ pizza? This iconic Memphis topping originated at Coletta’s – one of the city’s oldest restaurants – and was said to be a favorite of one Elvis Presley. As a vegan, pulled pork on a pizza isn’t my thing, but I am certainly not one to argue with The King.


Barbeque Pizza


You Do You

Of course, all the different pizza toppings out there are bound to stir up some friendly debate…that’s part of the fun of eating pizza. I say the more toppings the merrier. Variety is the spice of life after all. The answer to the question “what toppings should go on a pizza?” is a simple one: whatever tastes good to you. What’s your favorite topping?

If you enjoyed this article or have suggestions on how we can improve it, please leave us a comment below. Also, make sure to check out other articles I’ve created or stories I’ve written about food culture – here.

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