The Canadian pizza that a Greek invented and that the president of Iceland wanted to ban


  • In 1962, Sotirios, ‘Sam’, Panopoulos used a pineapple preserve to liven up a round of cheese and York ham: the Hawaiian pizza was born

I am writing for the first time about a preparation that I do not like, It is consumed massively in Australia, which the president of Iceland asked to ban in 2017 (jokingly, or not?)that the Prime Minister of Canada defended, that the Italians hate (I know someone who, outside their territory, enthrones her), it was invented by a greek in 1962 and popularized it in the country that welcomed him as an immigrant, Canada; that plays with the bittersweet contrast of Chinese cuisine and with an evocative and paradisiacal name, which is part of the (reduced) repertoire of world-renowned pizzas. Hawaiian, tropical, pineapple pizza.

It is striking that the country, Italy, where the matter of authenticity gives it itches and rashes, is unable to catalog the pizza specter, and that they themselves commit aberrations that they do not allow in others. Because recognizable pizzas, that can be identified by a Calabrian – to say the least –, a Finn and a Chilean, there are very few. The marinara, the margarita, the cossack, the whimsical…? How many more? The Hawaiian, sure, even if the Calabrian is about to gouge out my eyes.

Hawaiian or tropical is a game of four anywhere: pineapple, tomato, mozzarella and sweet ham (actually, it has salt). Because the rest, the hundreds and hundreds, or thousands and thousands, that occupy the menus of pizzerias around the planet are invented.

Each place fills the dough with whatever it wants, and also names it on a whim. Pizzas with things, just as there is rice with things. Paella and margarita pizza go hand in hand because they do respond to effective and regulated formulas. The daisy has some rules. Paella has some rules. Attacking them –and you are free to do so– is to denature them and damage their balance and effectiveness.

Absolutely in favor of pizza with pineapple because there is no code about what can and cannot be in a dough and absolutely against it because it is not about opening a can and throwing yellow and greasy cuts on York ham/tomato/cheese.

To write this text and update the brain program of flavors, I just ate it and it was as disappointing as hugging a ficus. Without integration or desire for coexistence, the fruit is there to justify a name.

It sweet salty it works if done harmoniously, and I know that there are proper versions with natural and cooked pineapple (what would tacos al pastor be without that fruity counterpoint?), although pizza chains are more for multiplication than for finesse.

However, a good worked fruit deviates from the founding gesture of Greek immigrant Sotirios, ‘Sam’, Panopoulos, who reached for a preserve in search of tropical joys at his restaurant in Chatham, called Satellitewhich he shared with his brothers and which he sold in 1980, which is still open and where they sell the Hawaiian at €11.90 for the small one and €21.50 for the extra large, under a motto: “Since 1962, home of Hawaiian pizza” .

Until Panopoulos’s death in 2017, most people thought that the origin of that combination was the archipelago and not a Canadian town an hour from the US border, with Detroit, where the Greek went to pizzerias to refine your offer.

The sweet-salty roundness has, then, the residue of emigration and the border: something unapologetic, uprooted, from nowhere, from Greece, from Canada, from Italy, from Hawaii.

Related news

In 1957, a short-lived Portland establishment, Francine’s Pizza Jungle, featured a Hawaiian on its menu, which left no mark, unlike Sam Panopoulos’ uninhibited act.

The important thing is to be the first, true, but it is still more effective that what you do has a path, influence, memory. And Hawaiian pizza, one never forgets.


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