Is it Illegal to Put Pineapple on Pizza in Italy

Contrary to popular belief, there is no law in Italy that specifically prohibits putting pineapple on pizza. The idea that Italians have a strong aversion to this particular topping may stem from their traditional preference for more classic ingredients like prosciutto, mozzarella, and basil. However, taste preferences can vary greatly among individuals and regions, so you’ll likely find some Italians who enjoy the sweet and tangy combination of pineapple on their pizzas.

Ultimately, when it comes to food choices, it’s all about personal preference. While some might argue that certain combinations are sacrilegious in the realm of traditional Italian cuisine, others embrace the fusion of flavors and experimentation. So go ahead and top your pizza with pineapple if it tickles your taste buds – just be prepared for varying opinions along the way!

Pizza Culture in Italy

When it comes to pizza, Italy is undoubtedly the birthplace of this beloved culinary delight. The rich and vibrant pizza culture in Italy is deeply ingrained in the country’s history and traditions. From the traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas to regional variations, Italians take their pizza seriously.

  1. Traditional Neapolitan Pizza: Naples, the city where pizza originated, holds a special place in Italian pizza culture. The Neapolitan-style pizza is characterized by its thin crust, soft and chewy texture, and minimal toppings. In fact, true Neapolitan pizza can only be made with specific ingredients such as San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, and extra-virgin olive oil.
  2. Regional Variations: As you travel across Italy, you’ll discover a wide array of regional pizza styles that reflect local flavors and preferences. For example:
    • Roman-style Pizza: In Rome, you’ll find rectangular-shaped pizzas with a thinner crust compared to Neapolitan pizzas.
    • Sicilian-style Pizza: Sicily boasts its own unique style of pizza called “sfincione.” It features a thick crust topped with tomato sauce, onions, anchovies or sardines, breadcrumbs, and caciocavallo cheese.
    • Piedmontese-style Pizza: In northern regions like Piedmont or Liguria, you might come across “tarte flambée,” a crispy thin-crust pizza topped with cream, onions,and bacon.
  1. Respect for Tradition: Italians take great pride in preserving the authenticity of their traditional recipes and techniques when it comes to making pizza. Many pizzerias adhere to strict guidelines set by organizations like Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) to ensure that their pizzas are prepared according to time-honored methods.
  2. Pineapple on Pizza Controversy: Now, let’s address the burning question: is it illegal to put pineapple on pizza in Italy? The answer is no. While pineapple as a topping may not be traditional or widely embraced in Italy, there are no legal restrictions against it. However, purists argue that combining sweet tropical fruit with savory pizza goes against the principles of Italian pizza culture.

Controversy Surrounding Pineapple on Pizza

The Origin of Pineapple on Pizza

The inclusion of pineapple as a pizza topping has sparked passionate debates among pizza enthusiasts around the world. While the origins of this controversial pairing can be traced back to Canada, it quickly gained global attention and stirred up strong opinions.

Legend has it that in 1962, a Greek immigrant named Sam Panopoulos added pineapple to a pizza for the first time at his restaurant in Ontario, Canada. This creation, known as the Hawaiian pizza, featured ham and pineapple as its signature toppings. Since then, it has become a polarizing topic that divides pizza lovers everywhere.

The International Debate

The question “Is it illegal to put pineapple on pizza in Italy?” often arises due to Italy’s reputation as the birthplace of traditional Neapolitan-style pizza. However, there is no legal restriction against adding pineapple to pizzas in Italy or any other country for that matter. It remains a matter of personal preference and culinary experimentation.

Despite its origin outside Italy, the controversy surrounding pineapple on pizza has reached international proportions. Supporters argue that the combination of sweet pineapple with savory ingredients creates an interesting flavor contrast and adds depth to a classic dish. On the other hand, opponents vehemently argue that fruit does not belong on a savory pie and consider it sacrilegious to tamper with tradition.

Cultural Perspectives on Pizza Toppings

Pizza is undoubtedly one of the most beloved foods worldwide but varies greatly depending on regional tastes and cultural preferences. In certain countries like Sweden or Australia, pineapple is widely accepted as a popular topping choice alongside traditional options such as cheese or pepperoni. These nations have embraced diverse flavor combinations that reflect their multicultural influences.

However, in places like Italy or even some parts of North America where adherents hold steadfastly onto traditional recipes, including pineapple may be met with resistance or even disdain by purists who advocate for preserving the authenticity of classic pizza.


In conclusion, the question of whether it is illegal to put pineapple on pizza in Italy does not have a straightforward answer. While some Italians may frown upon this unconventional topping choice, there is no legal prohibition against it. Ultimately, pizza toppings are a matter of personal preference and culinary experimentation. Overall, while pineapple on pizza might spark passionate debates among food enthusiasts worldwide, there is no legal restriction on enjoying this combination in Italy. So go ahead and indulge your taste buds with whatever toppings bring you joy!