Hawaiian pizza isn’t Hawaiian. The Greek-Canadian Sam Panopoulos claimed to have created it at the Satellite restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, in 1962. Inspired in part by his experience preparing Chinese dishes (which often mix sweet and savory flavors), Panopoulos tried ingredients such as pineapple, ham, and other toppings that weren’t common (or popular) at the time.
The combination became so famous that it’s, according to surveys, a favorite in Australia and the most readily available in the United Kingdom. However, in the United States, it led the ranking of worst pizza ingredients, ahead of anchovies and mushrooms. Many Italians have declared to be horrified by this “aberration” in their most famous dish (along with pasta).
In Germany, it’s considered a variation of the Toast Hawaii (with ham, cheese, and pineapple), popularized by Germany’s first TV cook, Clemens Wilmenrod, in 1955.
Nowadays, Hawaiian pizza is topped with tomato sauce, cheese, pineapple, and back bacon or ham, although some versions may include peppers, mushrooms, prawns, pepperoni, onion, and jalapenos.