In the second episode of Questions, Commons & Concerns (QCC), marketing assistants at University Student Commons and Activities interviewed students, faculty and staff of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to find out their thoughts about pineapple on pizza.
QCC S01E02 Transcript:
Brian Donovan: Welcome to Questions, Commons & Concerns at VCU, an initiative by University Student Commons and Activities. Questions, Commons & Concerns is a series where we ask students, faculty and staff about their thoughts regarding current events, hot topics or fun subjects relevant to the University community.
Donovan: This is Brian Donovan, host of Questions, Commons & Concerns. Today’s episode focuses on the polarizing topic of pineapple on pizza. While pineapple on pizza has only been around since about the early 60s, recent events have brought the topping to the forefront of the media. In February 2017, President Gudni Johannesson of Iceland told a group of high school students during a Q&A that he was opposed to pineapple on pizza and that if possible, would ban pineapple as a pizza topping. This fanned the flames of the already hot debate as many took to social media in order to show their support for or against the fruit topping.
Donovan: We walked around campus to ask students, faculty, and staff their thoughts about pineapple on pizza and find out which slice of the pie the VCU community falls on.
:: I love pineapples on pizza and people criticize me for that, a lot.
:: I’m not with that. I do not like pineapples on pizza because fruit and savory don’t belong to each other.
:: I am not a fan, I don’t think they belong there. I don’t think any sort of fruit belongs there. I’m not discriminatory to pineapples in particular, but I wouldn’t put strawberries on my pizza either.
:: Fruit does not belong on a pizza.
:: I’m not real fond of the sweet and the savory, and it’s something about tomatoes and pineapple that do not belong together. They are not meant to be married, they are not meant to commingle.
:: I like the sourness of pineapple that it sometimes has — I don’t like that combination with pizza. Pizza is savory and I don’t want that mixture on my pizza.
:: The texture between the pizza and the pineapple is gross.
:: It’s a go. It’s a whole bet. I feel like pineapples on pizza — It’s just real classy.
:: Pineapples and pizza do not mix, it is an abomination. No one should eat this, it’s disgusting, fruit does not belong on pizza and it’s not even Hawaiian…
Donovan: While the true origins of pineapple on pizza are sometimes argued, the story of Sam Panopoulos, a Greek immigrant to Canada, rises above the rest. Panopoulos claims to have created the first Hawaiian pizza at Satellite Restaurant of Chatham, Ontario, in 1962. Pizza was still fairly new to North America. Having been a once niche dish for poor Southern Italian immigrants, pizza only really began to catch on in the mainstream after World War II. The iconic union of pineapple and ham came through happenstance as a result of Panopoulos not having many ingredients to work with while trying to create a new pizza. Quickly, the unique Hawaiian pizza spread south to the U.S. and was a hit due to the tiki culture that had flourished in the mid-20th century. The name “Hawaiian pizza” is misleading, as the moniker was appropriated from the can of pineapple Panopoulos used, but it certainly had a hand in the dough helping Hawaiian pizza sweep the nation.
Donovan: More often than not, when a pizza is prepared, all ingredients are baked at temperature with one another. While surveying the campus, we also asked community members whether or not pineapple should be baked in with the rest of the ingredients, or added to the pizza post-oven.
:: I think cold would probably be better because I don’t like warm fruit, that just seems weird.
:: So normally when you put the fruit on it’s a little bit colder, or at least room temperature, but you’re putting that on top of a piping hot pizza. And then it’s like this cold or lukewarm, juicy…
:: Oh, that last step stuff, that’s cheap. That’s not classy. I like my stuff to be cooked in.
Donovan: One individual we spoke to had a question for both sides of the issue.
:: If pineapple is acceptable on pizza, why not other fruit? Why can’t I throw grapes on a pizza, watermelon, etc. What made pineapples okay?
Donovan: Where is the line between creativity and insanity? Recklessness and courage? Good pizza and bad pizza? The world may never know. Whether your preferred topping is cheese, pepperoni, pineapples or grapes, I think we can all agree that no matter what – pizza is pizza and pizza is good.
Donovan: This has been Questions, Commons & Concerns at VCU, brought to you by University Student Commons and Activities. If you have a question you would like covered, email us at contactUSCA@vcu.edu. Thanks for listening