I can’t understand why the pineapple on pizza debate seems to be hitting its zenith in 2016. It’s not a new phenomenon by any means. When we were kids, Hawaiian pizza was the default option for kids parties. Backed by salt & vinegar chips, burger rings, cheerios and off brand soft drinks. I love it. The intersection of sweet and salty is a glorious valley of wonder. I’m a big fan of splashy flavours, trying new things and seeing if they’ll stick. Occasionally I get burned, but more rarely than you’d think. Pineapple to me feels naturally, homey.
I think my favourite pizza back home was this local concoction from Lightly spicy with chicken, bananas and a dusting of coconut. It was awesome, but I get how it wouldn’t work for some people. Why? Because pepperoni pizza exists. So goddamn bland, but it’s a hit. Especially with kids. Having set up a bunch of birthday parties when I worked at the kids’ gymnastics place, they go ape for it. Well, mostly. The only flavour that’s more popular amongst the kidlets is cheese. CHEESE. Cheese isn’t even a flavour, it’s a given. It’s opting not to put toppings on your pizza. I find it hard to believe that adults are still into that banal shit, but kids, I get it.
When you’re a kid, new things are scary, right? You can rewatch the same films over and over again, because familiarity is comfort and the unknown is frightening. You don’t want to be spooked, so you go with what you know. It’s hard to get kids into new things. I know how resistant I always was. My family ran on the mantra of “you don’t know until you try”, but it was still a hard sell. It’s something I’m gonna push hard to encourage when someone’s dumb enough to make me a dad. I don’t have a toolkit for that kind of thing yet, but here’s hoping.
Friends of mine once suggested a method, learned from their family. It was basically the old poison them slowly technique. Since these parents loved spicy food, they didn’t want to not cook it. They also couldn’t be bothered specially cooking a separate portion for the kid. At the same time it’s not fair to aggressively push super spicy food on a child. They wouldn’t pre-spice the food, but instead add it at the end, adding trace amounts to the kid’s portion. They’d build this over time, making the child aware of what they were eating. As time went on, the kid took to it and now has no issue. Problem? Solution.
Maybe the argument over pineapple on pizza isn’t even a big theme, it’s probably just reached meme status. It’s one of those arguments that’ll likely never go away until pineapple, humans or pizza go extinct. It’s the over or under/scrunch or fold toilet paper stance by any other name. They’re binary positions with no middle ground. I choose to empathise, but disagree. Also, I now want pizza.