Pizza toppings you'll never find in Italy, and why Italians hate them

Pizza toppings you'll never find in Italy, and why Italians hate them

Jun 07, 2022Donatella Mulvoni

We are very particular about our pizza. We love the queen of the table, but we are cautious about how we top it.

An Italian creation… with a few exceptions, allowed

It is a stereotype but, unfortunately, is quite true: Italians lose it if someone dares to twist their "sacred" tradition a little. We are a bit over the top...but you know us by now! Sometimes Italians risk seeming (and sometimes we really are) overly snobby when it comes to pizza. The truth is that authentic Italian pizza is usually simpler than American-style pizza. The dough is thin in the center with a thicker border. Another difference is the fact that the ingredients are few and typically simple. Here's our mini-guide to the pizzas you'll never find in Italy.

Hawaiian pizza

Do you want to see an Italian faint or at least swear? All you have to do is present them with a Hawaiian pizza. It will be hilarious to see their reaction! Hawaiian pizza is perhaps the most famous American-style pizza among Italians. The "pineapple yes versus pineapple no" debate is very lively in America as well. Italians are 100% in the no-pineapple team.

Seafood pizza

Seafood pizza is not widely available, although you might find "pizza ai frutti di mare" in some pizzerias, especially in seaside locations.

Pepperoni pizza

It is one of the most loved pizzas in America. Actually, we have it also in Italy, under the name of Diavola (literally the Devil's pizza because it is usually spicy). The critical thing to remember, however, is that "pepperoni" is not an Italian word but is very similar to the word "peperoni" (with only one p), which means bell peppers. So, beware, never order a "pepperoni pizza"; order a pizza with salami!

Chicken pizza

Pizza topped with chicken is pretty popular in the US. Meats on pizza are pretty rare in Italy. Definitely, you will never find chicken pizza. On the other hand, cured meats such as prosciutto crudo, speck, prosciutto cotto, salami, mortadella, etc. etc. are very popular. The only exception for regular meat is fresh pork sausage. The spicy sausage pizza is beloved in Italy. Fun Fact: One of the pizzas kids love the most is the so-called "Pizza Americana." It is a pizza with mozzarella and tomato topped with French fries, and tiny hot dogs cut into thin slices.

Taco pizza

Taco pizza is not on the menus of traditional Italian pizzerias. Again, with very few exceptions, traditional pizzas have few ingredients. An exception is the famous Pizza Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons Pizza). This pizza has four toppings that describe each season: mushrooms represent autumn, prosciutto and olives represent winter, artichokes represent spring, and finally, tomatoes and basil represent summer.

One last note...gourmet pizzas

In conclusion, it is essential to talk about gourmet pizzas which are very trendy in Italy. They often depart from tradition and do not disdain the experimentation with unusual and uncommon ingredients. Therefore, even in Italy, tradition is constantly challenged!

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