The debate over whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza has heated up over the last couple of years. Not only has it become an Internet meme, it’s a topic that divides friends just as quickly as a draw-four card in Uno.
You might find a video floating around titled, “How to eat pineapple pizza,” in which such a pizza is cut into slices and then carried and dumped in the trash.
It’s a humorous illustration showing how some people feel about tangy chunks of pineapple on top of their beloved savory pizza.
I’ll assume that when Sam Panopoulous invented the Hawaiian pizza in 1962, he never imagined it would spur an ongoing debate decades later. He was just trying to draw some attention to his restaurant in Toronto, Canada.
Now pineapple is a popular pizza topping that many love to hate. Even with this love/hate relationship people have with pineapple, it still ranks ninth as the most popular pizza topping, coming in after green peppers and before spinach, in a 2013 Foodler study.
The debate over pineapple on pizza always gets a quick response. It usually goes like this: The topic is brought up and suddenly there’s a sneer on half your friends’ faces, resulting in the other half scoffing because the other half doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
For proof of division I look no further than The Leader’s readership. When I brought the debate to social media, the response showed that our coverage area is almost split on the topic.
On Facebook, 50 percent of our readers thought pineapple on pizza was delicious and 50 percent thought it was the worst. On Twitter, the scale tipped a little in favor of pineapple on pizza being the worst at 54 percent, with 46 percent calling it a delicious addition.
Why some people love the pineapple-and-pizza combo can easily be compared to other things we eat that are opposites but mix well together. Think a French fry dipped in a chocolate milkshake or even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This salty-and-sweet combo isn’t anything new.
Or maybe pineapple pizza lovers feel less guilty about eating pizza if there is fruit scattered on top.
On the other hand, if you don’t like it, it’s most likely because you just don’t prefer it.
But next time you draw a breath in and release a long “ewww” when you see pineapple on pizza, think back to the last salty-and-sweet combo you ate, like those pretzels dipped in chocolate.
So does pineapple belong on pizza? Well, sure, because there’s really no reason it shouldn’t belong when other people start throwing Buffalo chicken, ranch, corn and all other sorts of toppings onto pizza.
As for my personal preference, I’m at a middle ground. If I find myself with a pizza with pineapple on top, I usually will eat the pineapple off before eating the pizza. So, I can’t exactly tip the scale one way or the other.