Do Pineapples Belong on Pizza?

February 22, 2017

Last week, while Icelandic president Guðni Th. Jóhannesson was visiting a high school in northern Iceland, one brazen student asked him whether he liked pineapples on his pizza. (I have no idea why this student asked him this question.) He responded passionately and quickly, saying he’d ban it if he could. If he had the power, he’d ban it throughout the whole country, he told the student.

Scary! As the internet got wind of this yesterday, a mildly amusing debate pivoting around this divisive question blossomed on Twitter: Does pineapple belong on pizza? It's a question as old as Hawaiian pizza itself, its advent stretching back to 1960s-era Canada. The dispute inspired its very own hashtag, #pineappleonpizza.

Pineapple occupies the same ghetto as the anchovy when it comes to pizza additions, its slime seen as ruinous. For most people, this dish's particular interaction of flavors—the mix of pizza’s inherent richness with the acidic, tart juices of the pineapple—is anathema to their gastrointestinal linings. But there’s a small, mighty cult—some may even call it a resistance—who believe that Hawaiian pizza provides an experience so pleasurable that it's unlike any other pizza offering. Call me a rebel, but I belong to the latter group.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Jóhannesson, a man with enormously high approval ratings, backed down and saved face, softening his language. He clarified that he liked pineapples just fine, just not on pizza; he limits his pizza toppings to seafood. "Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding what I don't like,” he wrote in both Icelandic and English. “I would not want to live in such a country." Agreed, Mr. President. I wouldn’t want to live there, either.

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Pineapple on pizza: Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Melanie
  • ghainskom
  • Kat
  • hardlikearmour
  • aargersi
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Melanie March 18, 2017
Pineapple, fresh jalapeños, onion, and feta is my favorite! Sometimes, I'll even add mushrooms or sub the jalapeño for green peppers.
ghainskom February 27, 2017
Fruit is best eaten raw. Second best is in baked sweet goods. But pineaple on pizza is just wrong. :)
Kat February 23, 2017
YES! I love real deal wood fire oven margherita as much as the next Italian, but I will never say no to a slice of ham and pineapple!
hardlikearmour February 23, 2017
I'm on the love pineapple on pizza bandwagon!
aargersi February 23, 2017
Thin crust, pineappple, Canadian bacon and DOUBLE jalapeños - YES! Pineapple pizza eaters unite! P.s. My husband thinks that is completely gross. A house divided.
Martin February 23, 2017
No, thank you, and not any fish either.
BerryBaby February 23, 2017
Not a fan of sweet anything on my pizza. Meat and Cheese and sometimes black olives or green peppers with the sauce.
Jennifer February 22, 2017
First of all, good on the student who raised the question (I love that you muse about why the student did so). Second of all, this goes to questions about "authenticity." If authenticity is at issue, I imagine anchovies are closer to a Neapolitan/southern Italian/Siclian ideal than pineapple. Having said so, I'm embarrassingly freaked out by anchovies; moreover, although I'd be more likely to order eggplant & garlic pizza, I find ham & pineapple pizza delightful.
KK13 February 22, 2017
Just because we Americans add pineapple to our pizza doesn't make it a universal topping. Been to Napoli few times but never heard putting fruits atop pizza. So, if it's an absolute "no, no" from the Napolianos, it's a no on pizza. Pineapple on pizza, no bueno.

Don't get me wrong, it might still taste good, and in a free country you can add and have whatever you want to on your pizza, you might even win public votes, but that doesn't make something traditional, like a pizza, great.
Bevi February 22, 2017
Pineapple, ham and asparagus!
Catherine February 22, 2017
Bacon, feta, pineapple is really good pizza combination. Sweet and salty and porky!
Panfusine February 22, 2017
Pineapple & Jalapeno.. I'm sold!
Negative N. February 22, 2017
I love pepperoni and pineapple pizza!
Micah J. February 22, 2017
Pizza prescriptivists are just another kind of troll. As long as you have good crust, just about anything can be good on pizza.
megabals February 22, 2017
hawaiian pizza is queen among pies, should include shaved red onion, and should be dunked in ketchup prior to consumption. It's birthplace is, after all, Chatham Ontario - less than 50 km from Leamington; Ketchup capital of the world.
amysarah February 22, 2017
The 'Bee Sting' pizza at Roberta's in Brooklyn achieved an almost cult-ish following - and is kind of a cousin, in terms of topping the mozzarella/tomato sauce with a sweet element (honey drizzle instead of pineapple) and porky product (salami instead of ham) and hot pepperflakes. I was skeptical, but have to admit it was pretty damn tasty - so who am I to judge?
Liisa A. February 22, 2017
Funny, this thing started in Finland after a poll stated that the Finns' most popular pizza is ham and pineapple. Now the Icelandic president is trying to get all the glory about it! I'm a Finn occasionally making ham and pineapple pizzas my family loves! Eat what you like!
Kaite February 22, 2017
I despised pineapple on pizza until I tried a pizza that had ricotta, pineapple, and jalapenos. It was SO GOOD!
Deirdre B. February 22, 2017
Pineapple on pizza is the best!
Rachel P. February 22, 2017
I'm so confused right now. I adore both pineapple and anchovies on my pizza, and have no idea why people would hate it!

P.S. Tomatoes are fruit fyi.