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They Put What on Their Pizza in Russia? 10 Weird Pizza Toppings from Around the World

They Put What on Their Pizza in Russia? 10 Weird Pizza Toppings from Around the World


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There is never a wrong time to revisit the subject of pizza toppings, whether they’re delicious or perplexing. We have reported on America’s most outrageous pizza toppings (as in outrageously good), and just plain bizarre pizza toppings (which probably aren’t for everyone), but what about outrageously good and bizarre pizza toppings from around the world? Oh, we have that too. But here is a list of the ones that we missed, and some old favorites worth revisiting. We’ve compiled 10 pizza toppings that are perfectly normal in other countries but would raise a few American eyebrows.

Click here for 10 Weird Pizza Toppings from Around the World

We have come a long way in terms of what we put atop our pies. While crab or macaroni and cheese on pizza may have sounded unusual in 2012, in our post-Roberta’s age, it takes a lot more than that to faze us. These days, it would require, say, smoked reindeer, or maybe a four-fish combination, to really freak diners out. Nevertheless, these are pizzas every intrepid traveler should try for the true experience of eating the food of the people — even if that means enhancing yhour slice with blueberry dipping sauce!

We discovered the new pizzas on this list by thinking of countries with cuisines so distinct that they must, we figured, be reflected on their pizzas — and soon realized that that was pretty much every country. Examining menus of chains like Pizza Hut or Domino’s in various nations helped, but only so much, because all their wild toppings are seasonal, and these menus oftentimes only show the classics. Then there are chains popular in foreign countries, like Mr. Pizza, which offers toppings so diverse and, er, interesting that it’s almost legendary for being outrageous — bulgogi or head-on shrimp are no strangers to its menu.

However, we didn’t want to direct you to travel exclusively to chain pizza shops, so we surveyed the pizzerias that won over local food critics, too. Sure enough, most of the time there was at least one item on their menus that stuck out. Countries like Sweden and Brazil have robust pizza cultures, not only in terms of how they top their pizzas but how they serve them, and they are well worth visiting for that fact alone. Pizza tourism is one of the most satisfying sub-categories of culinary tourism.

Top off your daily food porn experience with something different.

Banana Curry Pizza (Sweden)

You’ll find banana curry pizza under the “Ordinary” or “Classic” sections of the menu. It’s not too different from a Hawaiian, in that it pairs ham with a sweet fruit, but the curry powder is admittedly unique. Most pizza places in Stockholm will serve it, but people flock to sample it at Formaggio Pizzeria.

Brazilian Pizza (Brazil)

Brazilian pizza is not the name of a specific kind of pizza, but is used as a blanket term for all the unique toppings of pizza you’ll find in that country. And you will find a lot, due to the rodizio-style — aka all-you-can-eat — service at many Brazilian restaurants, like Pizza a Bessa in Brasilia. First of all, the pizzas are thin-crust, and are likely to have sliced tomatoes or ketchup instead of pizza sauce. Toppings include green peas, carrots, beets, and potato sticks, and dessert toppings range from plantains to guava paste.


America's best pepperoni pizzas

When you think about it, few dishes are more American than a pepperoni pizza.

Both pepperoni and pizza are versions of Italian specialties that we as a nation have made our own. (In fact, there's no such thing as "pepperoni" in Italy, and American visitors who order it there are often surprised and disappointed when what they end up with is peperone — bell pepper.) Few other cuisines are as widely popular as pizza, and pepperoni is one of the most widely popular toppings, no matter the regional style of pie they are decorating.

In our most recent ranking of the 101 best pizzas in America, more than 700 pizzas were considered by 78 pizza experts, who selected a wide variety of pies from all over the United States. There were a few pies that incorporated pepperoni, but it was usually not the starring ingredient. Take Eddie’s special at Eddie’s in New Hyde Park, New York — sausage, meatball, pepperoni, pepper, mushroom, and onion — or the deep dish with sausage and pepperoni at Pequod's in Chicago, Illinois.

There were many pies on our list, however, that featured little else but sauce and cheese as their bases before being topped off with pepperoni. To us, this is the correct definition of a true pepperoni pizza, and here are the ones that made our list.


America's Best Pepperoni Pizzas

From Philadelphia to Atlanta to Seattle, there are some excellent pepperoni pies being served across the nation.

When you think about it, few dishes are more American than a pepperoni pizza. Both pepperoni and pizza are versions of Italian specialties that we as a nation have made our own. (In fact, there's no such thing as "pepperoni" in Italy, and American visitors who order it there are often surprised and disappointed when what they end up with is peperone -- bell pepper.) Few other cuisines are as widely popular as pizza, and pepperoni is one of the most widely popular toppings, no matter the regional style of pie they are decorating.

In our most recent ranking of the 101 best pizzas in America, more than 700 pizzas were considered by 78 pizza experts, who selected a wide variety of pies from all over the United States. There were a few pies that incorporated pepperoni, but it was usually not the starring ingredient. Take Eddie's special at Eddie's in New Hyde Park, New York -- sausage, meatball, pepperoni, pepper, mushroom, and onion -- or the deep dish with sausage and pepperoni at Pequod's in Chicago, Illinois. There were many pies on our list, however, that featured little else but sauce and cheese as their bases before being topped off with pepperoni. To us, this is the correct definition of a true pepperoni pizza, and here are the ones that made our list of the 101 best in the country:

#7 The Backspace, Austin, Texas


Photo Credit: Carrie Ryan, Sweet Louise Photography

With a pedigree that includes a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and stops at the French Laundry and Café Boulud, it's not a huge surprise that chef Shawn Cirkiel has found huge success with his restaurant Parkside -- but culinary degrees and highfalutin restaurant experience don't necessarily mean that you can make a great pizza. Luckily for Austin, Cirkiel does, serving pizza cooked in a wood-fired brick oven from Naples at a temperature of 900 degrees. There are six pies on the menu at The Backspace, featuring toppings like fennel sausage, roasted peppers, and roasted mushrooms, but the one that garnered our enough of our experts' votes to come in at #92 is the Pepperoni Americano: picante salame, tomato, mozzarella, and basil. Pair it with an aranciata, just like in Naples, or enjoy it Texas -style with a glass bottle of Mexican Coke.

#6 Pizza Brain, Philadelphia, Pa.

"Increase the piece!" It's the world's first pizza museum, for heaven's sake, and those in the know know that when you're craving great pizza in Philly, you need go no further than this nineteenth-century brick building in Kensington. There, you'll eat thin-crust pizza cooked in the double-deck gas-fired oven at the cash-only joint Kickstarted in 2012 by Ryan Anderson, Joseph Hunter, Brian Dwyer, and Michael Carter. As you wait for the crew to cook your pie, bask in Pizza Brain's unique ambience, check out their pizza memorabilia museum (featuring what the Guinness Book of World Records called the largest collection of pizza memorabilia in the world), or rummage through their pizza tattoo book for a few laughs. Pizza Brain's "Jane" is their version of a Margherita -- a cheesy trifecta of mozzarella, aged provolone, and grana padano blended with basil -- and that's a good place to begin. The salty and satisfying Forbes Waggensense is the one that was ranked #80 by our panel: it features mozzarella, fontina, Grana Padano, basil, smoked pepperoni, and tomato sauce.


Best: Clam

If you like your pizza with no sauce, you can thank the city of New Haven, Connecticut, and specifically Pepe's. Don't shy away from it — clams on a pizza work. Traditionally served on "apizza" (which just means a thin crust from New Haven, not New York) the crispy crust and sweet, slightly salty clams work so well with the cheese and the dough.


Olive Oil and Ice Cream

If you haven't tried it, you might be hesitant about this combination, but plenty of people swear by it. For a true salty-sweet combo, try adding a drizzle of olive oil and a few sea salt flakes to vanilla ice cream. You won't regret it.

Another option is to try olive oil gelato if your local scoop shop offers it. But if you're able to assemble the olive oil sundae yourself, you might be surprised to find you enjoy the taste after all.

And if you're in the market for a new bottle, here's How to Buy the Best Olive Oil for Any Dish You're Cooking.


The Crazy Pizza Toppings People Are Talking About Across The Country

Thanks to Foursquare, we've got the top toppings.

Thanks to Foursquare, we've got the top toppings.

Georgian's are all about toppings from the sea. Whether it's salmon, shrimp, or lobster on top, you really can't go wrong with adding a little bit of the ocean into every bite.

In Austin, margarita pizza rules supreme. When it comes to fresh basil, big slices of tomato, and globs of mozzarella &hellip are you really surprised?

Considering the Chesapeake Bay is the hub of Baltimore, it is not surprising that Crab Pizza is the favorite for this city.

Lobster and pizza inspire extreme devotion on their own, so when you put them together, it's no wonder Beantown can't resist.

Apparently in Burlington everyone is steering clear of gluten. Makes sense, all those outdoors-y activities require a lighter take on pizza.

The south is all about their barbecue. But, adding some classic BBQ sauce and shredded chicken on top of a pizza is a win for any state.

Folks in Charlotte require a little more meat on their pizza than the classic pepperoni.

Chicago is all about the deep dish pizzas. But deep dish and stuffed? I just don't know how their stomachs handle it.

We thought adding avocado to a BLT was game changing. But piling it all on a pie sounds like an incredible idea.

Any type of pizza that incorporates feta cheese is an automatic win.

Eating pizza in the Sicilian style, or in a square shape, somehow makes the whole thing a little bit more fun.

The heat from the buffalo sauce, the cool creaminess of bleu cheese, the crisp of pizza crust &hellip perfection.

No one sleeps in Vegas anyway, so breakfast pizza is the logical choice for any time of day.

Oooooh, so Louisville doesn't like to share. We get it.

I wasn't exactly sure what qualifies a pizza to be "artisan" but it turns out it's the signature burnt crust, heaps of garlic, and the sensation of basil. I'm sold.

A pizza puff is a sort of like a little burrito, where the cheesy insides are enclosed instead of out in the open for the world to see. BRB, booking a trip to Milwaukee stat.


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5. Pineapple

A Premium Hawaiian Original Crust Pizza | Papa John’s

Love it or loathe it, you may be surprised to know that pineapple as a pizza topping is more popular than beef, olives, tuna or anchovies. In fact, 42% of Brits love a juicy slice of pineapple on their pizza pie. Perhaps this can be explained by the endorsement of celebs like Canadian PM Justin Trudeau who said, “I have a pineapple. I have a pizza. And I stand behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation. #propinapple ”


Anchovies

Oh, anchovies, those tiny fish many of us have a hard time accepting. There are people who say they don't eat fish at all, but they'll order a Caesar salad at a restaurant. Anchovies come hidden in Caesar dressing, jam-packed with other flavors, so it's not as easy to recognize them. But used as a pizza topping? They're pretty darn obvious.

According to Paste Magazine, anchovies on pizza is not a revolutionary idea. In fact, one of the very earliest pizza combos had anchovies on it, perhaps influenced by the Italians' love of eating fish on bread. When pizza made its way to the U.S., anchovies came with it, but they weren't necessarily as accepted by those who didn't grew up eating the little fish.

In 2017, a pizza survey asked people how they felt about certain pizza toppings, and anchovies made the list. According to Today, 86 percent of respondents said no to adding fish to pizza. Certainly, there's still plenty of people adding them to their pies, but there's definitely a large population saying no.


Facts about Pizza: 11-15

11. In India, the most preferred pizza toppings are tofu, minced mutton and pickled ginger, but in America, the most preferred topping is pepperoni. Around 2.51 million pounds of pepperoni is sold in US every year and about 36% of pizzas sold in US have pepperoni topping.

12. Frozen pizza was invented in 1957 by Celentano Brothers. During the 1950s frozen pizza was available only in grocery stores. However, within just a few years, this variant became extremely popular and is today available in gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores and bars.

13. Thin crust pizza is the most popular form of pizza around the globe. In America, deep dish pizza was introduced in Chicago, but despite that 61% of pizzas ordered are all thin crust pizza.

14. The risk of esophageal cancer is reduced significantly if pizza is consumed at least once a week.

15. Gennaro Lombardi was the person to open the first pizzeria in America in 1895. This pizzeria was opened in New York.


The beauty of pizza is that it comes in so many topping variations you are free to create the flavors which best meet your momentary cravings.

Pizza may originally come from Italy (in one form, or another), but it’s now one of the most popular dishes in existence – all over the world. In fact, the worldwide pizza market is estimated to be about $128 billion not bad for a meal that usually has just three basic ingredients.

Pizza is one of those foods where there is nearly no consensus on which of the many, many styles and toppings out there is the best. Sure, most people are happy with the tried-and-true cheese pizza, made of dough, sauce and cheese only. Maybe throw some pepperoni on there if you want some topping but don’t want to get carried away or too controversial.

But there’s really an endless amount of options for pizza styles out there – almost too many to choose from. And virtually wherever your travels may take you, you’re likely to come across a new style of pizza you’ve never tried before.

Popular toppings by country

India: pickled ginger, minced mutton, and paneer (a form of cottage cheese)

Russia: mockba (a combination of sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and onions), red herring
Brazil: green peas

Japan: eel, squid, and Mayo Jaga (mayonnaise, potato, bacon)

France: flambée (bacon, onion, fresh cream)

Pakistan: curry

Australia: pineapple, shrimp, barbecue sauce

Costa Rica: coconut

United States: pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, green pepper, onion, and extra cheese

In appreciation of the simple, gourmet, savory, and endlessly-customizable delicacy that is pizza, here are some of the most popular types of pizza out there, from the classic to the adventurous and innovative.

Nevertheless, pizza itself comes in a variety of flavors. Gone are the days when it used to come in limited amount of flavors committing itself to the old traditions. Now we have countless options to choose from. Here are some of the flavors that people all around the world can enjoy:

Plain Ol’ Cheese

Okay, this is so easy it’s almost not its own style…but for many people, cheese pizza is the only real kind of pizza out there.

Consisting of dough, tomato sauce and a bit of mozzarella, provolone or even Parmesan, it’s the tried-and-true rendition of the Italian pizza we’ve all come to know and love – a hot, chewy, slightly gooey classic you can get at the local pizza joint, at a fancy gourmet shop, or frozen. Extra cheese makes it that much gooier and tastier.

Pepperoni

A classic. Just throw a few (or a ton of) slices of pepperoni on top of the cheese, and you’ll soon have a greasy, slightly spicy and delicious pizza that you simply can’t go wrong with.

Tastes good both from the local pizza joint and as a gourmet meal – and super easy to make at home. Pepperoni pizza is specifically famous in the West (America, Canada, and Mexico). Pepperoni is an American version of salami – made from cured beef and pork – and you’d probably never find it in Italy – but that doesn’t mean it’s any less good. This meat is cut into circular pieces and placed on pizza as a form of topping.

Double cheese pizza

This is one of the most popular pizza flavors all across the globe, preferred particularly by vegetarians that comes with a double thick layer of cheese. It is even preferred by cheese lovers. Extra layers of cheese is what makes it appealing, delicious and lip smacking. It fits in perfectly with the definition of pizza since originally they were meant to be ‘cheesy’ in nature.

Neapolitan (and Margherita) Pizza

Neapolitan pizza is the classic Italian pizza we all think of – the original, and the one that led to the rise of the classic New York-style.

Originating in the city of Naples (where it gets the name), it’s made with San Marzano tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese, on a wheat flour pizza dough with high protein content. The mozzarella cheese must also be Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, which is made from the water buffalo that live in the marshlands of Campania and Lazio, Italy.

The Margherita is a popular variation found throughout Italy, which uses San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella fior di latte, and topped with fresh basil leaves, salt and a drizzle of olive oil. If you’re looking for the most authentic Italian pizza style, this is it.

California Style

California style pizza (sometimes called Gourmet) is another popular one in the US but is unique in that’s not one combination of ingredients instead, it follows a California tradition –topping the pizza with fresh, in-season ingredients sourced locally, often the day-of.

Some popular toppings might be fresh hand-picked tomatoes, red peppers, lettuce and other greens, capers, and gourmet cheeses such as goat cheese. More adventurous types might like the heat of jalapenos and other hot peppers. This style of pizza was invented at Chez Pannise, a famous California eatery, and led to the rise of the famed California Pizza Kitchen.

This is another flavor popular amongst vegetarians.

Peppy paneer

Peppy Paneer is a popular style in South Asian cuisine paneer is a cheese cube made from pure milk, and peppy paneer pizza pairs it with spicy red peppers, onion and other vegetables, as well as flavorful and spicy sauces. It can be eaten on its own – as pizza usually is – or as a starter, alongside fried rice.

BBQ chicken

This is one of those flavors that pizza purists hate, but BBQ chicken is popular in the US. First invented at California Pizza Kitchen, this variety of pizza sees Hot BBQ Chicken sliced up and spread on the pizza, paired with drizzles of barbecue sauce on the cheese. In the Southern and Midwestern US, you might even eat it dipped into Ranch dressing.

Mushrooms and Onions

Some people like onions on their pizza alone, but the classic combination is mushrooms and onions together is even better. These two savory toppings create a delicious, aromatic and robustly-exquisite pizza that might send the more risk-averse pizza lovers running but rewards the gourmet types among us.

Hawaiian Pizza/Pineapple

Pineapple pizza is, like BBQ chicken, one of the more controversial choices in the pizza world.

Some love the juicy, tropical sweetness that chunks of pineapple add to the savoriness of sauce and cheese. Others can’t stand the total clash of cuisines and flavors. True Hawaiian pizza also includes back bacon or – more commonly outside of Hawaii – ham. Talk about some contradictory, unusual flavor combinations. While Hawaiian pizza can be found at virtually any pizza shop or restaurant, and has some dedicated fans, it’s also often voted as one of the least-popular pizza flavors out there.

While this is a fairly extensive list of pizza combinations, it is not a catchall collaboration. When it comes to adding toppings to pizza feel free to experiment. Take some of these topping combinations and create a hybrid version of pizza all your own. Remember, when creating something new there’s no limits! Happy trails as you create your very own Artisan Pizza!



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