The Yard Sale Pizza
There is never a wrong time to revisit the subject of pizza toppings, whether they’re delicious or perplexing. We have reported on America’s most outrageous pizza toppings (as in outrageously good), and just plain bizarre pizza toppings (which probably aren’t for everyone), but what about outrageously good and bizarre pizza toppings from around the world? Oh, we have that too. But here is a list of the ones that we missed, and some old favorites worth revisiting. We’ve compiled 10 pizza toppings that are perfectly normal in other countries but would raise a few American eyebrows.
We have come a long way in terms of what we put atop our pies. While crab or macaroni and cheese on pizza may have sounded unusual in 2012, in our post-Roberta’s age, it takes a lot more than that to faze us. These days, it would require, say, smoked reindeer, or maybe a four-fish combination, to really freak diners out. Nevertheless, these are pizzas every intrepid traveler should try for the true experience of eating the food of the people — even if that means enhancing yhour slice with blueberry dipping sauce!
We discovered the new pizzas on this list by thinking of countries with cuisines so distinct that they must, we figured, be reflected on their pizzas — and soon realized that that was pretty much every country. Examining menus of chains like Pizza Hut or Domino’s in various nations helped, but only so much, because all their wild toppings are seasonal, and these menus oftentimes only show the classics. Then there are chains popular in foreign countries, like Mr. Pizza, which offers toppings so diverse and, er, interesting that it’s almost legendary for being outrageous — bulgogi or head-on shrimp are no strangers to its menu.
However, we didn’t want to direct you to travel exclusively to chain pizza shops, so we surveyed the pizzerias that won over local food critics, too. Sure enough, most of the time there was at least one item on their menus that stuck out. Countries like Sweden and Brazil have robust pizza cultures, not only in terms of how they top their pizzas but how they serve them, and they are well worth visiting for that fact alone. Pizza tourism is one of the most satisfying sub-categories of culinary tourism.
Top off your daily food porn experience with something different.
Banana Curry Pizza (Sweden)
You’ll find banana curry pizza under the “Ordinary” or “Classic” sections of the menu. It’s not too different from a Hawaiian, in that it pairs ham with a sweet fruit, but the curry powder is admittedly unique. Most pizza places in Stockholm will serve it, but people flock to sample it at Formaggio Pizzeria.
Brazilian Pizza (Brazil)
Brazilian pizza is not the name of a specific kind of pizza, but is used as a blanket term for all the unique toppings of pizza you’ll find in that country. And you will find a lot, due to the rodizio-style — aka all-you-can-eat — service at many Brazilian restaurants, like Pizza a Bessa in Brasilia. First of all, the pizzas are thin-crust, and are likely to have sliced tomatoes or ketchup instead of pizza sauce. Toppings include green peas, carrots, beets, and potato sticks, and dessert toppings range from plantains to guava paste.