There’s nothing wrong with ordering a ham and pineapple pizza

Going Hawaiian doesn’t mean I’ve got no taste

There are certain things you wouldn’t do in a restaurant: eat spaghetti with your hands, dance provocatively on the tables, sneak into the kitchen and start cooking on the industrial hob. But does ordering a Hawaiian pizza merit a place on this list?

I’m guessing Pizza Express felt a bit miffed at the reaction to its latest iteration. After the chain announced it was putting ham and pineapple on the menu, punters went (in its words) “bananas” – and not in a good way. “The end of the world is nigh!!!” exclaimed one melodramatic Twitter user, while other tweets accused the chain of “bowing to pressure”.

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But should Pizza Express really have been so shocked? I’ve been putting up with this sort of abuse my whole life. Ordering Hawaiian in a restaurant is universally frowned-upon, with at least one person on the table guaranteed to act like you’ve just taken their American Hot and trampled it into the floor.

But why? The Hawaiian is perfection – the tartness of the pineapple chunks cuts crisply through the saltiness of the ham, giving you the same sweet/savoury clash which makes fruity salads and roasts with cranberry sauce so tantalising. If your tastebuds can’t handle that, then you’re a prude at best – at worst, you’re a food snob who wouldn’t actually know good food if I hit you in the face with a slice of it.

“Pineapple on pizza?”, people say: “That’s not authentic.” Well guess what – nothing about the way we eat pizza is authentic. Have you seen the face of a true Neapolitan when you tell them you have salami or (God forbid) chicken on a pizza? Utter disgust. Authentic pizza doesn’t have any toppings beyond tomato, olive oil and a little bit of basil. Christ, when pizza was invented it didn’t even have cheese.

Who are you to decide what can and can’t go on top of a pizza? It’s not like I’ve asked for Smarties and chocolate sauce. The 21st century champions creativity and experimentation – if putting some fruit on a pizza is too much for you to grasp then there certainly won’t be space for you on the first shuttle to Mars.

So open your mind. And if you can’t, then don’t pick and choose. If our toppings offend you, then yours offend us too – thus, if you demand we abandon our Hawaiians, then we better see you scraping your Sloppy Giuseppe into the bin as well. Is that a world you want to live in? Probably not.

We, the lovers of ham and pineapple, are legion – and it’s time you give us the respect we deserve.

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