For years now, Girl Slice has been threatening to write a column for Slice/Serious Eats called "Unpopular Opinions," in which she dishes some of her contrarian beliefs. "I Love Pineapple Pizza" is a topic that has always been at the top of her list (along with "NYC's Chain Patsy's Are Better Than the Original Patsy's in East Harlem," and "A Cooked, Heavily Herbed Pizza Sauce Is Better Than a Fresh One"). Today, I finally got her to deliver on the pineapple issue. Enjoy! —The Mgmt.
Republicans versus Democrats. Israel versus Palestine. The God-fearing versus the heathen. Godfather I versus Godfather II. These are topics that normal people steer away from, in fear of explosive family dinners and friendships torn asunder. For pizza lovers, one of the most arguably controversial topics is...PINEAPPLE PIZZA.
I fall squarely into the I Love Pineapple Pizza Camp. As the soon-to-be wife of the Slicemeister General, I try to keep my love on the down low, along with my other guilty pleasures, which include Billy Joel, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Crocs. I know. I have no taste. But stay with me here. Tomatoes are a fruit. Pineapple is a fruit.
Fruits are a classic accompaniment to many savory dishes, bringing out a sweetness and fullness to many meats and starches. Chefs all over the world enjoy mixing fruits into savory dishes: Applesauce on latkes, pears with pork chops, duck à l'orange, raisins in coucous royale, orange-scented Afghan rice, sweet and sour pork, prosciutto wrapped in cantaloupe, and quince jelly and cheese. I could go on, but you get the idea. Sweetness and a little tang (say, sour cream with the applesauce on latkes) are the perfect accompaniment for a main course.
Pineapple combines sweetness with a little sour zestiness, making it perfect for pizza. Put it on a pizza without any meat, and the bubbly cheesiness wraps around the little chunks of pineapple like a wonderful tiki appetizer. Add thinly sliced ham and then you have a little salty burst of flavor, before the sweetness of the pineapple and the hot, tomato-y sauce coats your mouth. DOESN'T THAT SOUND DELICIOUS?!?
I will admit that I developed my love for pineapple pizza because my mom always tried to order the "healthiest" option at any fast-food joint. (For another post: My on-and-off addiction to McDonald's fish fillets.) Somehow she felt the fruitiness of the pineapple would be a better addition to my diet, than say, sausage.
Pineapple is not necessarily the best topping for an "artisanal" pizza--I would not recommend it on a Motorino pie, for example. (Because if I were at Motorino, I would order the brussels sprout and pancetta pizza.) The fancy pizzas really shine with an excellent crust and sauce, and canned pineapple used on those might be a bit off. But at a basic, local pizza joint? Go for the pineapple. Don't be ashamed. Tell them Girl Slice sent you. ALOHA!
P.S. The Facebook fan page for "Pineapple Pizza" has more than 1,200 fans!
[P.P.S.: The Slice fan page on Facebook only has 445 fans. Seriously? Love pineapple pizza or hate it, it's just not right that it's got more love on FB than Slice. Go fan Slice, people!!! —The Mgmt.]
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