Why Hawaiian Pizza Almost Started a Diplomatic War

Hawaiian is arguably the most divisive and controversial of all pizzas. Because next to its tomato sauce and its ham, after all, there are classic garnishes of pineapple slices. An ingredient which for the Italians is a real culinary attack, and they are not the only ones who think so.

In 2017, it was President of IcelandGuðni Jóhansson, questioned on this topic by high school students, said he hated it Hawaiian pizza and that he would be ready to prohibit it in his country. A statement shock that came back to haunt Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, who took it very badly. Because this pizza, despite its name, is neither Italian nor Hawaiian: it was created in 1954 by Sam Panopoulous, a Greek immigrant settled in Ontario.

Initially, Sam Panopoulous offered it to his clients as a kind of taste experience. But in light of its success, he had put it on his menu. And since then it has spread all over the world, making Canadians proud. That is why Justin Trudeau had replied to his Icelandic colleague that he found it delicious.

So much so that during his official visit to Canada, the Icelandic president had to back up to avoid the diplomatic incident. He said this time that “yes, he hated Hawaiian pizza, but the main thing was individual freedom to choose your own toppings”. Before adding that he personally preferred pizza to seafood, which is also not unanimous. Meanwhile, the Hawaiian, delicious or disgusting? The debate, as the pizza still hasn’t been cut…

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