As a preface, I would like to say that this article actually belongs in the Opinions section of this week’s Miscellany News. I submitted it as an Opinion piece because the subject matter is a complex political issue about which I have very passionate feelings. However, there was not in enough room in that section, so the editors have decided to place it in the Humor section.
Though I am disappointed, I am completely sure that my article is in the Humor section for this purely logistical reason, and not because the editors found my serious attempt at opinion journalism unintentionally humorous. That being said, let’s get down to business.
Hawaiian pizza, known in some circles as pizza with ham and pineapple on it, is a travesty. Its name is a misnomer, it is a weird combination of flavors and as far as creative, unique varieties of pizza go, it simply does not deliver. If you are a fan of Hawaiian pizza, I am certain that I have already lost you at this point, but let me assure you that I mean no personal offense to you or your spunky taste buds. I do, however, hope to personally offend all the Hawaiian pizzas out there, as well as the totally-not-Hawaiian man who has admitted to the criminal offense of inventing such a recipe.
That’s right, Satan’s pizza chef does not actually reside in the Aloha state or descend from the indigenous people of the Hawaiian islands, he is a dude from Canada named Sam. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the originator of Hawaiian pizza is not Hawaiian, considering what Hawaiian pizza is: the pizza equivalent of a tourism shirt that says, “Let’s get lei’d!” To be fair, I myself am no more Hawaiian than Sam. I do not have the authority to decide what is authentically Hawaiian and what is not. But unlike Sam, I believe that mixing chunks of ham and pineapple on a pizza is reckless.
Just when you thought Hawaiian pizza couldn’t be any more geographically confused, here comes another strange fact. Hawaiian pizza is not super popular in Hawaii, despite its name, or in Canada, where it originated, but it is massively popular in Australia. I don’t think this is a reflection of the Australian people. They are very kind and generally not insane, despite their choice of pizza. Rather, I think it is a reflection of the conditions in which they live. In the Land Down Under, every part of the natural environment wants to kill you, whether it’s the devastating heat, the ferocious wildlife or Russell Crowe. It makes sense that Australians would turn to such an unusual style of pizza in order to survive and cope with their unusual surroundings.
“But tomato is technically a fruit too,” is the central counterargument for defenders of Hawaiian pizza. How can pineapple on pizza be bad if tomato sauce is completely acceptable? Well, tomato’s status as a fruit is ambiguous to say the least, and outright questionable to say the most. Tomato does not fit so neatly into the fruit kingdom, as demonstrated by its foray into the juice industry. Tomato juice is not awful, it’s just wildly different from all the other fruit juices. Not many people enjoy a glass of acidic, pulpy tomato with their breakfast cereal. Pineapple, on the other hand, is a Fruit. A fruit with a capital F. Out of all the fruits, it is perhaps the most fruit-like.
Pineapple’s flavor is found in candy, Fanta soda and other areas of the food world in which the presence of tomato would make no sense. The flavors of pineapple and tomato do not live in the same neighborhood, or even the same galaxy. Therefore, arguing that they belong together on a pizza because they’re both fruit is akin to arguing that a hungry polar bear and an arctic seal would be great buddies because they’re both animals.
You may be wondering, “What did Hawaiian pizza ever do to you?” My intense feelings originated at a Halloween party about seven years ago. The delivery man showed up at the door with enough pizzas to feed 20 middle schoolers. But one of the boxes contained something that was more of a trick than a treat. Looking at the strange, greasy, yellow and pink concoction, I thought, “What’s the worst that could happen?” I grabbed a slice, chomped on it without hesitation and my taste buds were instantly assaulted by the bizarre combination of tastes. What was this kooky concoction? What hath the Pizza Gods wrought?
For a split second, my brain was teased by an illusion of sensory pleasure. Was I…enjoying it? Perhaps I was. But if so, the enjoyment was merely temporary. Suddenly, the aftertaste struck me like a charging boar, and the confused pleasure melted away into a bitter repugnance. I fought my way through the rest of the slice to avoid showing rudeness to my host and weakness in the face of challenging pizza toppings.
That strained effort really took a toll on the rest of my night. I won’t go into details, but the worst possible thing did happen in the bathroom later that night. Was I already a little bit nauseous before I ate the Hawaiian pizza? Maybe. Could it have been because I ate too much Halloween candy? Perhaps. Will I nevertheless insistently refuse to eat Hawaiian pizza ever again? Absolutely.