Guilty Pleasures

A Weird Pizza Topping Combo Might Become Your New Favorite

The Guilty Pleasure: Three certain pizza toppings. Where to Get It: Your favorite pizza joint. Take your pick. Price: How much does a three-topping pizza run at your favorite pizza joint? What It Really Costs: If your friends aren't open-minded, nobody's splitting this pie with you.

Everyone has his or her own favorite toppings on a pizza. There are plenty of people who order just one topping, but what's the fun of that? As the adage goes, variety is the spice of life. And there are few better canvases for variety of the edible sort than pizza.

Even with dozens of toppings available on pizzas these days, it's all too easy to fall into a rut of a regular order. I mean, I'm not going to sneer at yet another pie topped with pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms, but every now and again, it's nice to shake things up a little.

One of the perennial combinations that I think is in the biggest need of a refresh is the good ol' Hawaiian pizza, topped with ham and pineapple. The problem is that damn ham. It's supposed to give a salty hit of cured pork, but it doesn't do a very good job of it. It's too soft, too wet to do anything interesting.

You could always add ham's stablemate, bacon. Goodness knows I've done this many a time. Those smoky, salty bits help elevate the ham to the flavor you wish it had.

See Also: Fired Pie: Custom Pizza and the Pookie Still, I feel like I could do better. Then a friend told me . . . Get rid of the ham and bacon, and try a pizza topped with pineapple and . . . pepperoni. At first, I was baffled by the thought. I was even possibly a little revolted by the idea.

Then I started to think about it, and realized it made perfect sense. Pepperoni crisps in the oven much better than soggy ham, and it adds an extra dimension of flavor with a lightly spicy kick. What's not to like about that?

I then remembered one of my favorite variations on the Hawaiian pizza. I love to add jalapeños to give a little spicy kick to go along with the salty and sweet. So, I headed down to my local slice joint to try the strangest pizza combination I've ever seen, pepperoni-jalapeño-pineapple.

All I can say is hot damn, it's amazing. I may never put ham on a pizza again. This is one of those combinations that works out to so much more than the sum of its parts. I know it looks weird on paper (I should know, I'm scratching my head looking at it as I write and I've tried it!), but as long as you think pineapple belongs on a pizza, you've really got to try it at your earliest opportunity. One slice won't kill you.

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JK Grence
Contact: JK Grence