Hawaiian pizza is called Hawaiian pizza not because it comes from Hawaii, but because it uses Hawaiian canned pineapple as one of the toppings. It was invented in Canada in 1962 by a Greek immigrant named Sam Panopoulos. He was inspired by Chinese dishes that mix sweet and sour flavors, and he experimented with different ingredients on pizza. It became popular locally and then globally.
Who is Sam Panopoulos?
Sam Panopoulos was born in Greece in 1934 and emigrated to Canada in 1954. He worked as a cook and businessman and owned several restaurants with his brothers. He was married to Christina for 50 years and had two children and several grandchildren. He died in 2017 at the age of 82. He is best known for creating the Hawaiian pizza in 1962 after trying pizza in Naples and Windsor. He was inspired by Chinese dishes that mix sweet and sour flavors and he liked the contrast between pineapple and ham. His invention sparked a global debate about the legitimacy of pineapple on pizza, which he defended until his death.