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Greek Sam Panopoulos claimed that he created the first Hawaiian pizza at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada in 1962. Inspired in part by his experience preparing Chinese dishes which commonly mix sweet and savoury flavours, Panopoulos experimented with adding pineapple, ham, bacon and other toppings which were not initially very popular. The addition of pineapple to the traditional mix of tomato sauce and cheese, sometimes with ham or sometimes with bacon, soon became popular locally and eventually became a staple offering of pizzerias around the world. Panopoulos chose the name Hawaiian after the brand of canned pineapple they used.
In popular media
In February 2017, the president of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, reportedly told a group of high school students during a Q&A that he was fundamentally opposed to pineapple on pizza. He added that he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping if he could, as long as he received 30% of the under 21 vote. His off-the-cuff remark generated a flurry of media coverage and inspired those who liked and disliked Hawaiian pizza to express their opinions on social media. Celebrities shared their preferences on the matter, including Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Panopoulos, at that point retired from the restaurant business, was called upon by some media outlets to defend his creation. Guðni later clarified that he did not have the power to ban particular toppings on pizza and would not like to live in a country where the leader could ban anything he or she did not like.
In 2009, The argument on the internet started with the hatred of Hawaiian pizza in the social media, and also being their least favorite toppings.
Hawaiian was the most popular pizza in Australia in 1999, accounting for 15% of pizza sales,
According to a 2019 YouGov Omnibus survey, 12% of Americans who eat pizza say that pineapple is one of their top three favorite pizza toppings, and 24% say that pineapple is one of their least favorite toppings. Only two ingredients were more widely disliked in the survey, anchovies and eggplant.
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