Pizza!

Pizza for dinner! And who doesn’t love a pizza …

Well me apparently. I’m un-Australian—a traitor, and all because I hate pineapple on pizza—oh, and egg.

Hey guys, here’s this great idea. Let’s get a pastry base; cover it with tomato and herbs; toss some shredded salami, ham and mushrooms on top and then—ta-da pineapple … oh yeah.

Why not mango, there’s a quintessential Aussie fruit; nectar of the Gods and all that. Or banana, another Aussie icon grown in abundance on the far north coast, but no, it has to be pineapple.

I blame Hawaii. The Hawaiian Ham and Pineapple is the most popular pizza in Australia and accounts for 15% of all pizza sales.

Italians consider the Hawaiian to be a German invention similar to the Toast Hawaiian which, believe it or not, is a slice of bread, a slice of ham, a full ring of pineapple, and a large spoon of cranberries topped with cheese and grilled from the top until the cheese melts—gourmet  indeed.

Despite its German inference the first Hawaiian pizza was allegedly created in 1962 in Ontario, Canada by Sam Panopoulous, co-owner with his brother Nick, of the Satellite Restaurant. Based on the popularity of the Hawaiian, the brothers later created the Hawaiian Burger which probably accounts for the pineapple inclusion there as well.

Come to think of it, why is it that pizza places, serving up the Italian equivalent of the Aussie meat pie, always seem to be owned by Greeks. Why aren’t they owned by Italians? Asians own Asian restaurants, Indians own Indian restaurants so why don’t Italians own pizza restaurants.

Ancient Greeks covered their flat bread with oils, herbs and cheese, while the Romans topped a sheet of pastry with cheese, honey and bay leaves. Modern pizza originated inItalywith the inclusion of tomato and in 1889 cheese appeared as a topping. Then America stepped in with their New York base—thin and crispy; while Chicago, not to be outdone, came up with the deep-dish. The original Chicago has a three inch base and acts as a bowl for the tomato, cheese and other fillings. The stuffed crust is a variation of the Chicago.

The list of pizza choices at my local take-way reads like travel itinerary. Mexicana, New York, Portuguese Chicken, Indian Tandoori, Louisiana, Provençal Beef, Thai Seafood—the  destinations are endless. You can travel the world while waiting in line.

But never mind the exotic just give me a ham and pineapple, with egg—and don’t forget the BBQ sauce.

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