Hawaiian pizza lives on, but the world is saying Aloha to its inventor

The credit/blame for Hawaiian pizza goes to Sam Panopoulos, who died Thursday
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If anyone doubts that pizza is an international food, consider this:

Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada. By a guy from Greece. Then the president of Iceland said it should be illegal. And people all over felt compelled to comment.

This week, though, the world is saying farewell to that Greek-Canadian, Sam Panopoulos, who is said to be the first person to dump a can of pineapple on his pizza.

Panopoulous died Thursday at the age of 83. An obituary from the BBC says it was 55 years ago – 1962 – when he first experimented with pineapple on pizza at his restaurant in Chatham, Ontario.

Pizza was almost unheard of in Canada at that time, Panopolous told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation earlier this year. "Nobody liked it at first," he said. "But after that, they went crazy about it. Because those days nobody was mixing sweets and sours and all that. It was plain, plain food."

They interviewed Panopoulous in February because the president of Iceland had just caused an uproar. While visiting a school, one of the students asked the president how he felt about pineapple on pizza. He said if he had the power to make laws by himself, he would declare it illegal.

And so began a debate about the merits of Hawaiian pizza that lingers on.

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