The first known mention of pizza is in a 10th-century document from Lazio in Italy, with the modern version of the ever-popular dish hailing from Naples. The international pizza market generates about $128 billion a year, with a third taking place in the United States alone. These restaurants differentiate themselves in the best way they know how: by placing the toppings.
The first pizzeria in the United States opened in 1905: Lombardi’s in New York City. Since then, Americans have not stopped experimenting. experimenting with things further extreme than the controversial debate over pineapple on pizza. Here are ten of the weirdest pizza toppings on the market.
Related: The Top 10 Disastrously Nasty And Weird Food Vendors
10 banana and cheese
If you’re a sweet and salty person, boy have I got the pizza for you. A popular favorite offered by several chains in Brazil is the banana and cheese pizza. Generally, the cheese is standard mozzarella with banana slices sprinkled on top. Adding chocolate and cinnamon cream gives the dish an extra touch of flavor and stickiness.
I suppose you could also ask for pineapple if you want to start a furious argument among the purists. I prefer to have my pizza followed by dessert, but having both together saves time.
9 Prawns, Trout, Caviar, OMG!
Steveston Pizza Co in Richmond, British Columbia has a website that proudly says:
“Our vision is to alter what people think about what a pizza should be and transform eating pizza into a true culinary experience. We want every experience you have eating our cakes to be a memorable one.”
The experience will certainly be memorable if you pay $850 for the See Nay pizza. This is a 12-inch cake, so it’s not for sharing! The topping combines tiger prawns, smoked rainbow trout, lobster ratatouille, Russian caviar and Italian white truffles. This last ingredient increases the price; these truffles cost thousands of dollars per kilo.
Don’t worry. If you’ve had a couple of beers, you can’t order the See Nay on impulse; you need to order it a day in advance so the kitchen has time to prepare. But the restaurant has much cheaper options. Pizza is an affordable staple for most people, but $850 might stretch the family budget just a hair.
8 Fried Chile Cheese
Beer made Milwaukee famous, but the city also deserves credit for the Chili Cheese Frito pizza served up by Ian’s Pizza by the Slice. This crunchy topping doesn’t spring to mind, but now it’s something I want to try after a wild Friday night.
At Ian’s, they generously spread beef chili over the base, then top it with onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and Fritos. Nothing says American like pairing two dishes that have nothing to do with each other, but if the glazed donut and cheeseburger can make it work, so can Ian’s pizza. Just make sure you have a few napkins on hand.
7 call of the wild
Alaska. Beautiful. Wild. Wild. It is the largest state in the country, but has a population of less than 750,000. About 40% of these people live in Anchorage. An Alaskan tends to be a person who values independence and enjoys the often harsh conditions of the land. And there is no doubt that this belief carries over to his food.
Anchorage’s motto is “Big Wild Life” and it describes Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria well. This restaurant has a varied and extensive menu and serves various dishes, including their pizza. Not the least among these is the Call of the Wild pizza.
The topping on this pie may only seem exotic to non-Alaskans, but it’s certainly filling. The crust is loaded with bacon, steak, portobello and crimini mushrooms, garlic cream sauce, and reindeer sausage. Not for the faint of heart or those who have eaten recently. Still, reindeer is a common meat in northern latitudes, so perhaps not so strange.
6 italian mix
Pizza man! in Los Angeles has been in operation since 2010. Founded by a famous skateboarder (this is Los Angeles, after all), the popular restaurant is adding more locations. Their website indicates what Pizzanista does! stand out:
“Family owned and operated Pizzanista! It features traditional handmade pizza dough made daily using 200-year-old sourdough cultures from Naples…”
This will certainly reassure an Italian that proper culinary traditions are alive and well in California. But they might raise a fancy eyebrow at hearing that customers flock to Pizzanista! on Sundays for the infamous macaroni and cheese pizza. After all, nothing says Italy like taking time-honored traditional foods and stripping them down to American standards.
Pizza man! It’s not the only place offering this unlikely combination, but surely this is taking the fusion a bit too far. Macaroni and cheese is not a topping, it is a separate meal. But if it sells, why not?
5 mashed potatoes and broccoli
New Haven in Connecticut has many excellent pizza restaurants. Among them is BAR, a nightclub that offers fresh beer and dancing. Knowing full well that people like to grab a bite to eat while having a few beers and jumping on the dance floor, BAR has a pizza oven to suit the needs of its guests. Now this is a brilliant idea that I would love to see more of!
However, one option I wouldn’t be tempted by is the mashed potato and bacon pie. I can see the logic behind this: the mashed potato coats the stomach and soaks up the excess beer. But I can’t see it as a pizza topping. BAR also offers a themed bacon, egg and hot pepper breakfast pizza. And this is truly the strangest dressing; BAR boasts of a chicken and broccoli pizza. I can’t think of anything worse to tarnish such a glorious meal.
4 cheese and chickpeas
Although Argentina is a Spanish-speaking country, it also has a strong Italian heritage. Many Italians flocked to Argentina to escape wars and economic turmoil, bringing their culture, language, and foods. Originally from Genoa, Italy, fainá is a chickpea pancake popular among Argentines. Güerrin in Buenos Aires honors its Italian-connected roots and offers this as an option on its pizza.
You can order a normal pizza and have fainá on top, or you can cover the entire pizza with fainá. Fans say the creamy texture of the pancake cuts down on the acidity of the tomato sauce and pairs well with cheese. It seems strange, but the restaurant sells more than 600 slices of its pancake daily to pizza lovers. People obviously like the combination. I wonder if it is available in the US?
3 Lemon Yogurt and Mango Chutney
Greenville, Delaware is home to Pizza by Elizabeth, a fine dining experience that includes crab artichoke dip, curried pecan salads, and… tandoori pizza? Tandoori is an Indian chicken dish marinated in yogurt. The blend of spices in tandoori cooking (cumin, coriander, and turmeric) makes for a strong flavor. Here, the pizza dough acts as a typical Indian bread.
Pizza by Elizabeth takes it to another level by serving yogurt with lemon tahini and mango chutney. Some of their other weird toppings include sauces like pesto, rosemary onion, and green olives. Before you head in, make sure your palette is up to your chic standards, or prepare to hit Little Caesars on the way home.
2 breakfast in chicago
At Dimo’s Pizza in the Windy City, you can order the Breakfast of Champions pizza. It lives up to its name as the topping consists of scrambled eggs, chorizo and French fries on a white sauce base and is finished with green onions and spicy mayonnaise. A good breakfast, to be sure, but why put it on top of a pizza crust?
A big city like Chicago also has a strong Italian heritage and is full of pizzerias. Somehow, a restaurant has to attract new customers, and innovation with toppings is one way to do that. To be successful, these restaurants also have to offer old favorites. Dimo’s manages to do this with a wide range of pizzas. One wonders if things like the Breakfast of Champions are publicity stunts not to be taken seriously.
1 oh my omaha
The Pitch Pizzeria in Omaha, Nebraska has good reviews on Tripadvisor and offers a wide variety of innovative food. Their website makes a special point of this:
“Each week, our chef creates new never-before-seen culinary wonders just like the current special.”
The problem with a constant demand for innovation is that you can’t always hit the mark. One of the pizza parcels on offer includes a pistachio topping, shrimp, and plum sauce. plums. That’s a culinary wonder, paired with fig marsala sauce, pears, and truffle oil.
These combinations sound so strange; It has me scratching my head, wondering, does this combination belong on a pizza, or is it just innovation for innovation’s sake? We have come a long way from the basic Margherita. For now, I’m sticking with marinara and mozzarella, but eat up, my pizza connoisseurs.
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