Who Invented Hawaiian Pizza


The combination of ham or Canadian bacon and pineapple has been winning hearts and minds for years when it has been placed on a pizza. Despite being called a Hawaiian pizza, however, the dish didn’t originate in Hawaii at all. What isn’t known, however, is who exactly came up with the invention that would change the way millions of people look at pizza.

There are three solid options up for consideration as to who actually came up with this invention, so let’s take a look at each claim that has been made to the invention of the Hawaiian Pizza.

Claim #1: The Quigley Family

Australians love the Hawaiian pizza. Not only is it the most popular in the country, but it accounts for about 15% of all pizzas that are sold. On the banks of the Murray River, one family decided to start making pizzas in a wood fired, mud brick pizza oven that is still in existence today. The Quigley family made pineapple pizzas in these ovens and there are photographs that are dated to the early 1950’s that show pizzas coming out of these ovens that were made from pineapples that had been brought in from Queensland.

Claim #2: Sam Panopoulos

Sam Panopoulos was a pizza maker for over 50 years. He started a pizza restaurant because his hometown in Ontario didn’t have one. He claims to have invented the first Hawaiian pizza and there is no doubt that this pizza was a hit. The only problem is that Sam’s claim comes about 10 years after the photographs from the Quigley family, but it isn’t known if he or the Quigley’s were the first to combine ham and pineapple onto a pizza. One thing is for certain: the Hawaiian burger that was produced by the Panopoulos family came directly from the success of their pizza.

Claim #3: The Germans

In Europe, where pizzas have been being made for centuries, it is widely believed that the Germans were the first to invent the Hawaiian pizza. While there is no origination point for this belief, it appears that someone who had either a Quigley pizza or a Panopoulos pizza brought the recipe back to Germany and began creating their own version. Part of this belief stems from the recipes of Clemens Wilmenrod, who made a ham and pineapple open-faced sandwich, but there is no confirmation that the sandwich turned into a pizza. Once the Hawaiian hit the streets, however, the pizza became extremely popular and the Hawaiian pizza began spreading throughout Europe.

Who created the Hawaiian pizza first? It appears that we may never know who had the brilliant idea of combining ham and pineapple together with tomato sauce and cheese. What we do know is that this pizza is popular for a reason: it is quite tasty! The next time you order one, remember these three claims to the invention of this pizza and thank them all with every bite you take.

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