The Hawaiian Pizza - A Legacy

Rerun. Sam Panopoulos, creator of the Hawaiian pizza, died on 8th June, 2017 at the age of 83. Originally Greek, he moved to Ontario, Canada at the age of 20 and opened a restaurant where he experimented with toppings far beyond the typical ‘60s triumvirate of mushroom/bacon/pepperoni.

Alongside a Chinese-American chef, he kick-started an international appetite for ham and pineapple that grows to this day - the Hawaiian becoming America’s favourite delivery pizza topping in 2021.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider the merits of ‘Irish pizza’ (corn beef, cabbage and potato...); reveal that the ‘super-boring’ Napolitana was itself only ‘invented’ in 1889; and attempt to establish if the Hawaiian pizza is actually popular in Hawaii…

Further Reading:

• Sam Panopoulos’s obituary on CBC News’ ‘The National’ (2017):

• The Guardian’s obituary to Panopoulos (2017):

• An alternative history? The menu to ‘Francine’s Pizza Jungle’ - uncovered in The Oregonian’s archives:

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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.

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