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Hawaiian pizza, with its sweet pineapple and savory ham toppings, is a popular pizza variety around the world. But there has been some debate around whether Hawaiian locals actually enjoy this tropical twist on pizza. In this comprehensive article, we’ll explore the origins of Hawaiian pizza, examine Hawaiian opinions on the controversial topping combination, look at the role of Hawaiian pizza in Hawaiian culture, and determine whether Hawaiians like Hawaiian pizza or not.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Most Hawaiians enjoy and eat Hawaiian pizza just like people in other places, even if they didn’t invent it. Hawaiian pizza has become part of the local food culture..

The Origins of Hawaiian Pizza

Many people wonder about the origins of Hawaiian pizza, especially since it has become a topic of debate among pizza enthusiasts. Let’s take a look at the history and how this unique pizza came to be.

Invention in Canada

The invention of Hawaiian pizza can be attributed to Sam Panopoulos, a Greek immigrant to Canada. In 1962, Panopoulos and his brothers owned a small pizzeria in Chatham, Ontario. One day, they decided to experiment with toppings and added canned pineapple and ham to a traditional pizza. The combination was an instant hit, and the Hawaiian pizza was born. Its name was inspired by the brand of canned pineapple they used.

The addition of pineapple to pizza was unconventional at the time, as most pizzas were traditionally topped with ingredients like tomatoes, cheese, and various meats. However, the sweet and tangy flavor of the pineapple paired well with the savory ham, creating a unique taste experience that appealed to many customers.

Introduction to Hawaii

The Hawaiian pizza made its way to Hawaii in the late 1960s when it was introduced by a Canadian entrepreneur who opened a pizza restaurant on the island. The combination of pineapple and ham resonated with the locals, and it quickly gained popularity in the Hawaiian culinary scene. The sweet and salty flavors of the pizza complemented the tropical vibe of the island, making it a favorite among both residents and tourists.

Rise in Popularity

Since its introduction, the Hawaiian pizza has continued to gain popularity worldwide. Despite the ongoing debate about whether pineapple belongs on pizza, many people enjoy the unique flavor combination it offers. In fact, a survey conducted by a popular pizza delivery chain found that Hawaiian pizza is one of the top five most ordered pizzas in the United States.

Whether you’re a fan of Hawaiian pizza or not, there’s no denying its impact on the pizza industry. It has sparked creativity and innovation, leading to the creation of numerous other unconventional pizza toppings. So, the next time you indulge in a slice of Hawaiian pizza, remember its humble beginnings in a small Canadian pizzeria and its journey to becoming a global sensation.

Hawaiian Opinions on Pineapple Pizza

Pineapple on Pizza Controversy

The debate over pineapple on pizza has been a long-standing controversy in the culinary world. Some people argue that the combination of sweet pineapple and savory pizza is a match made in heaven, while others vehemently oppose the idea, claiming that fruit has no place on a pizza. Hawaiians, being the birthplace of the famous “Hawaiian pizza,” have a unique perspective on this controversial topic.

It’s important to note that the creation of the Hawaiian pizza, which typically includes ham and pineapple as toppings, did not actually originate in Hawaii. The credit for this creation goes to Sam Panopoulos, a Greek immigrant in Canada, who first put pineapple on a pizza back in 1962. However, the name “Hawaiian pizza” stuck, leading many to believe that it was a popular choice among Hawaiians.

Reactions from Hawaiian Chefs and Locals

So, what do Hawaiians really think about pineapple on pizza? The opinions are as diverse as the islands themselves. Some Hawaiian chefs embrace the unique flavor combination and proudly incorporate it into their menus. They argue that the sweetness of the pineapple complements the saltiness of the ham and the tanginess of the tomato sauce, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

On the other hand, there are also Hawaiians who prefer to stick to more traditional toppings and view pineapple on pizza as an unnecessary addition. They argue that the authentic flavors of traditional Hawaiian cuisine, such as kalua pork or lomi lomi salmon, should be the focus instead.

It’s important to remember that taste is subjective, and what may be delicious to one person may not be to another. The beauty of food is its ability to cater to individual preferences and provide a diverse range of flavors.

Ultimately, whether or not Hawaiians like Hawaiian pizza is a matter of personal taste. If you find yourself in Hawaii, I encourage you to try it for yourself and form your own opinion. After all, exploring different flavors and culinary experiences is part of the joy of traveling and embracing new cultures.

Hawaiian Pizza as Part of Hawaiian Culture

When it comes to the debate over Hawaiian pizza, the question often arises: do Hawaiians actually enjoy this controversial pizza topping combination? While opinions may vary among individuals, it is important to note that Hawaiian pizza has indeed become part of Hawaiian culture.

Inclusion on Local Menus

One of the key indicators of Hawaiian pizza’s cultural significance is its widespread inclusion on local menus throughout the Hawaiian Islands. From small mom-and-pop eateries to upscale restaurants, you can find this unique pizza topping combination everywhere. The popularity of Hawaiian pizza speaks to its acceptance and appreciation by both locals and tourists alike.

Unique Hawaiian Pizza Creations

In addition to its presence on menus, Hawaiian pizza has also inspired unique creations that showcase the creativity of Hawaiian chefs. From adding local ingredients like pineapple, ham, and even Spam, to experimenting with different cheese and sauce combinations, Hawaiian pizza variations have become a culinary art form. These innovative twists on the classic pizza reflect the local flavors and cultural fusion that define Hawaii’s rich culinary heritage.

Hawaiian Pizza Restaurants

Furthermore, there are even dedicated Hawaiian pizza restaurants that have emerged, catering specifically to those who appreciate this divisive pizza topping. These establishments not only serve traditional Hawaiian pizza but also offer a range of other Hawaiian-inspired dishes. They have become gathering places for pizza enthusiasts and a testament to the enduring popularity of this unique culinary creation.


In conclusion, while Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada and not an authentic Hawaiian dish, it has become beloved by many locals as a tasty fusion food. The topping combination is debated, like in other places, but overall Hawaiian pizza has been enthusiastically embraced and is now considered part of modern Hawaiian food culture.

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