Aloha, Sam Panopolous: Inventor of Hawaiian Pizza Dies at 83

Panopolous and his brothers were experimenting with pizza toppings when they hit upon the idea of tossing in some canned pineapples.




Sam Panopolous believed he started the trend of diverse toppings on pizza.

 

Pizza lovers said “aloha” to Sam Panopolous, credited as the man who invented the Hawaiian Pizza, when he died last week at 83.

Although its name implies American origins, the Hawaiian Pizza is actually a Canadian innovation. Panapolous dreamed up the signature pie—topped with ham and pineapple—with his brothers when they owned the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. At the time, the restaurant served all manner of diner fare, including pancakes and burgers, before adding American-style Chinese food and, eventually, pizza to the menu.

They used pineapples straight from a can to deliver an unexpectedly sweet bite, but the brothers had no idea at the time that their invention would spread around the world. “Nobody liked it at first,” Panapolous said, in a scrappy, late-in-life interview with CBC Radio earlier this year. “But after that, they went crazy about it. Because (in) those days, nobody was mixing sweets and sours and all that. It was plain, plain food.”

Panapolous believed he started the trend of diverse toppings on pizza. “[In] those days, the main thing was mushrooms, bacon and pepperoni,” he said. “After that, everybody started putting everything on it. You can put sardines on it. You can put salmon on it. You can put green peppers, onions, whatever you want you can put today—and everybody eats it.”

According to an obituary released by Panopolous’ family, the Greek-born restaurateur, who emigrated to Canada in 1954, died suddenly while in the hospital in London, Ontario. Earlier this year, the crusty Panopolous gained new media fame after the president of Iceland joked that he’d ban pineapples as a pizza topping if he could.

 

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

New Jersey Pizzeria Draws Heavy Fire for Alleged “Anti-Cop” Slur on a Pizza Box

Owner Frank Mancini says in-house shorthand label was misread as “pigs.”

How to Create the Perfect Cheese Blend For a Flavor Your Customers Will Crave (With Video)

There are hundreds of delicious cheese combinations, and nearly every cheese can work to boost your pizza’s flavor profile.

Pizzas For the Khaleesi: Pizzeria Vetri Creates Pies Inspired by “Game of Thrones”

Cleverly named LTO specials include Baratheon’s Bane and the spicy-hot Dornishman’s Revenge.

The Spaghetti Cone: Is It Really Easier Than Eating From a Plate?

With this one-of-a-kind street-food, you don’t have to doodle with your noodles to get them into your mouth.

Researchers in Naples Are Struggling to Build a Robot That Can Make Pizza From Scratch

RoDyMan the pizza-bot has bendable arms, hands and fingers, but it can’t stretch dough without tearing it.

Chuck E. Cheese Is One Company That's Hiring Real People and Firing Robots

Animatronic band is nowhere to be seen at remodeled location in Stone Oak, Texas.

Mississippi Pizzeria Is One of Two Named to Bon Appetit’s List of 50 Best New Restaurants

Saint Leo in Oxford, Mississippi, made the cut, along with Washington, D.C.’s Timber Pizza Company

Facebook Algorithm Now Penalizes Businesses For Slow-Loading Website Links

Forty percent of website visitors will abandon your site after a three-second loading delay, the company notes.

This Deaf Domino’s Driver Delivered Customer’s Pizza On Foot After His Car Broke Down

GoFundMe campaign page describes Benjamin Houston as a “bright light” in a scary world.

Pizza Is the Official Food of One-Night Stands for Millennials

Yelp survey finds that if you’re not into pizza, your dream date is probably not into you.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags