Hawaiian Pineapple on Pizza and The Online Controversy

Hawaiian Pineapple on Pizza and The Online Controversy

The internet is an amazing and odd platform that is always bringing fresh and surprising ideas to us. While Facebook was first used as a way to connect with distant friends, it is now sometimes just an arena for sharing popular memes and entertaining material. None was more shocking to me than this video, which my friend posted in Novemeber 2018:

How to eat a pineapple pizza

Aside from it being a major waste of food (if you don’t like it, you can just take the pineapple out), it was a major eye opener because of the tens of thousands of likes and as of today, 12 million views on Facebook! People don’t like pineapple pizza?? I had to investigate.

The Controversy Over Hawaiian, Pineapple Pizza

“Controversy” is a term I hear on topics that divide people heavily, such as the Mexico-U.S. border wall, gun control laws, and users’ right to privacy when visiting online websites. I had no idea that there was actually a controversy over whether Hawaiian Pizza, or pizza with ham and pineapple, was good or not.

Yes, that’s right, a style of pizza is actually a source of conflict among people across the globe, with strong opinions from major public figures, such as

The President of Iceland talking about banning Pineapple Pizza

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay willing to eating Pineapple Pizza only for charity

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showing support for Pineapple Pizza on his Twitter account


“Pineapple pizza” has grown in popularity in web searches, according to Google Trends:

It has become a heavily discussed and searched for topic within the past handful of years. One major reason is because with the internet and social networks, topics can become viral and become normal, pop culture topics to people. And now, when you search “pineapple pizza,” you can see how many results are about the merits of pineapple pizza, including this article from Today News about a poll of 34,000 people regarding pizza toppings (54% voted against).


I Don’t Understand the Hate

Living in Hawaii, I’ve known about Hawaiian Pizza since I was young. It was absolutely 100% normal for me to see ham and pineapple toppings on the menu wherever I went. With the sweet pineapple chunks and salty, thin ham slices, I thought it was a good combo. So, I was very surprised to read how some people hated the idea of Hawaiian Pizza.

When I confronted my friend about his hate of pineapple pizza, he said that pineapple is too sweet, wet, and conflicts with the sweet tomato sauce already layered on pizza. However, in my mind, modern pizza is a fast food that everyone can enjoy, and as a food of everyday people, you can put anything on it, if it tastes good to you. Heck, there’s even a restaurant here called Pie-O-Logy where you choose an assortment of toppings, with odd additions like spinach, BBQ sauce. And then there’s California Pizza Kitchen, who has pizza with Asian flavors, or this odd combo in their California Club Pizza:

Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon, grilled chicken and Mozzarella, hearth-baked then topped with avocado, wild arugula, fresh tomatoes, torn basil and Romaine tossed in lemon-pepper mayo.

Seriously, here’s a major pizza chain with “Pizza” in their name, and they are literally just throwing a whole Caesar Salad on a pizza crust!

california club pizza
California Club at CPK. Photo Credit: Shane Adams CCBY2.0

Moreover, pineapple and ham seem to be a nice combo because it has both sweet and savory flavors, a winning combination that can be seen in other great foods such as:

  • steak with A1 steak sauce
  • teriyaki chicken
  • barbecue wings
  • sweet and sour chicken
  • chex mix
  • those delicious honey mustard pretzels in the vending machine

To me, the discussion over pineapple pizza is really a testament to the beauty of a free society: we as people naturally want control over our lives, people can choose to do what they want, and as long as it doesn’t intrude on the rights of others, (in which case it would need to be governed), we can all manage to coexist, even with contrasting views of pizza toppings.

5 thoughts on “Hawaiian Pineapple on Pizza and The Online Controversy

  1. How is this a thing???? Its pineapple pizza. Its food. Energy. Artistic expression. Culinary creativity. No right and wrong as long as it tastes good.. and IT DOES!!

  2. Here in California, Pineapple has been an option for nigh onto 60 years, or more. I like it. Most of the complaints I have heard come from areas like Chicago and New York where they have regional varieties. Heaven help you if you violate their regional code!! They even have rules about how to eat pizza!! Of course it is silly for them to argue about pineapple being appropriate for Pizza, as they do not have REAL pizza either – IF you ask a Sicilian or Italian, where it came from. Let us face it, pizza as WE know it is strictly an American development, where you can have anything you want on a Pizza, including Pineapple.

    1. John, I agree with you 100% — I’m sure Italians look at some of our Pizza Hut toppings and raise their eyebrows. Because it’s a fast food, it’s become available and modified by everyone, at this point.

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