A famed pizza maestro in Naples, Italy has hit the headlines after producing a pizza with one of the most divisive toppings – pineapple.
Gino Sorbillo is one of the city’s most celebrated chefs and has unveiled his version of pineapple on pizza.
Of course, this isn’t just any ordinary Hawaiian. Out goes the tomato base, replaced by three different cheeses (smoked provola and two types of smoked cacioricotta cheese), while the pineapple is twice cooked to make it more caramelised.
Sorbillo, a third-generation pizzaiolo, told CNN he created the ‘Margherita con Ananas’ to “combat food prejudice”.
”I’ve noticed in the last few years that lots of people were condemning ingredients or ways of preparing food purely because in the past most people didn’t know them, so I wanted to put these disputed ingredients – that are treated like they’re poison – onto a Neapolitan pizza, making them tasty,” said Sorbillo.
Online opinions were certainly divided, with one telling him it was “time to lower the shutters”, while others were keen to try it: “This will definitely be delicious.”
Another added: “Noooooo. How are we going to criticise Americans now?!??
While Naples is credited as the birthplace of pizza, citizens of various ancient cultures such as the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans had some form of flatbread with toppings on it. It wasn’t until the 10th century that the word ‘pizza’ was first documented in central Italy.
What we would call a modern pizza appeared in the Campania region sometime in the 17th and 18th centuries. Originally food for the poor, pizza became somewhat of a tourist draw to the rougher parts of the city of Naples. Italian immigrants helped to bring it across to the US early in the 20th century, and the rest is history.
In 2017, Unesco added the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker, or “pizzaiuolo”, to its list of “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”.
The criticism hasn’t stopped Sorbillo from coming up with other controversial creations, including a ketchup pizza.