How good is pizza! It’s carb-loaded, cheese-filled, and satisfying. It comes in so many variations with extensive menus that leave the choice of what to order even more challenging — thank goodness there’s the option to go half-and-half.
Whether you’re after a traditional Napolitano or a somewhat Americanised pie, we can all agree that pizza is a food that pleases everyone. Remove the anchovies, add extra jalapenos, make it vegetarian or get the Supreme — you can make it your own and that’s why it’s the go-to meal to keep everyone happy. Perhaps the party gets vocal as guests have a fun argument over the age-old question: “Does pineapple really belong on pizza?” Then there’s our other favourite: “Do you eat it with your hands or a knife and fork?” It’s up to you, and that’s the beauty of it.
First you’ve got the Napolitano pizza that originated in Naples. It’s a type of pizza that is prepared with simple and fresh ingredients: a basic dough, raw tomatoes or passata, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and olive oil — plenty of olive oil. There’s no fancy toppings allowed here. In fact, its defining characteristic is that there is often more sauce than cheese. It then leaves the middle of the pie a little soggy despite being cooked at very high temperatures for no more than 90 seconds. Then to eat it, it’s said you fold the slices lengthways and eat them like that with your hands, starting at the point of the triangle.
Then there’s the American-style pizzas that have a thicker base with a larger variety of toppings, including olives, pepperoni, chicken, beef, egg, onion and more. The pizza craze was said to hit the US around the time hamburgers and fast-food chains gained momentum, so it’s not surprising that the style became so much more — from pizzas that were laden with toppings and deliciously lavish to deep-dish and cheese-stuffed crusts.
Now, back to the ever-so-polarising pizza topping: pineapple. Sam Panopoulos was born in Greece and moved to Canada at 20. In 1962 he decided to put pineapple on pizza to attract customers to one of his Ontario-based restaurants. Yep, all of you pineapple-on-pizza haters can blame Canada — or Greece. It really depends how you look at it. So Hawaii is owed an apology — it didn’t make the first Hawaiian pizza after all.
OK, we know you’re all craving pizza now, so how convenient that our guide to the best pizzas on the Peninsula can be found right here.