Though its name may suggest otherwise, Hawaiian pizza was invented in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. Sam Panopoulos was a chef at Satellite Restaurant in the 1960s when he first put pineapples on the pizza. Pizza was fairly new to Canada at the time, with most people only enjoying the food when they visited America. People who visited the restaurant where he worked kept it simple with toppings, mostly limited to bacon, mushrooms, and pepperoni. One day, while using the small pizza oven at the restaurant, Panopoulos simply decided to put some pineapple on top. Customers took to it right away.
Today, an average Hawaiian pizza is a typical cheese pizza with ham and pineapple on top, but Panopoulos maintains that his only innovation was adding pineapple. He says that, in his mind, you can have any variation of pineapple, bacon, mushrooms, or any other topping you’d like. Panopoulos likes to think that his innovation was about more than just creating a new variation of pizza. He believes that it opened the door to combining flavors that never would have otherwise been combined, and inspired other restaurants to try unique creations of their own.