I live in a carefully curated thought bubble where woke bros and social justice warriors nurture each other’s uniqueness through tolerance and understanding. Recently, however, my you-do-youtopia was shattered when all of social media erupted into an all-out war on one of life’s great joys: pineapple pizza.
Let me back up.
Pizza time at my house can be tricky. The kids are picky. My wife can’t eat tomatoes. But pizza is the only thing I feel like eating about 90 percent of the time, so I’m determined to find a pie that pleases everyone.
Enter Barro’s Pizza, my longtime favorite delivery joint, which recently opened a new location just a couple miles from our house. These local legends are known for their pillowy crust, ample mozzarella, heavenly chunks of Italian sausage and impossibly cheap lunch specials.
They even accommodate a mom’s unique food intolerance with tomato-free specialty pies, including the Hot Wing Pizza (wing sauce) and an off-menu white pizza (olive oil base). The masterstroke came a few years ago when Barro’s introduced the Kona Pizza — chicken, teriyaki sauce and pineapple with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
Kona Pizza took my family by storm. I can’t get enough of the stuff. My mother-in-law is nuts about it. And my 5-year-old son, who calls it “chicken pineapple pizza,” will take down multiple slices at dinner and then eat it cold in his preschool lunchbox.
For the Man Who Packs Kids’ Lunches Every Day, this is not just a pizza. This is a new thought technology. A life hack.
And my love of pineapple pizza goes back further. When I was a Webelos Scout, my den took a behind-the-scenes tour of a Domino’s, where we each made our own pizza. I noticed pineapple was on the menu and got curious. Before long, pepperoni and pineapple was my jam. Sometimes I’d share a pineapple-only pizza with my little sister.
This was before the ham-and-pineapple “Hawaiian” went mainstream, and before I learned to appreciate the subtle complexities of a good Canadian bacon. Sometimes I think pineapple gets a bad rap because big pizza chains use low-grade hams.
Whatever the case, the president of Iceland set the internet on fire when he said he’d like to ban pineapple on pizza. Within a week, a respected local sportscaster tweeted at a friend of mine that ordering a pineapple pizza should be punishable by Stone Cold Stunner.
If you gave him a Stone Cold Stunner right then & there, no court would convict you. https://t.co/agr0ZoAAsl
— Brad Denny (@BDenny29) February 25, 2017
WHAT KIND OF MONSTER WOULD GIVE A STONE COLD STUNNER TO A 5-YEAR-OLD?!
Listen, I get it. Pizza is a communal food. It’s the only meal that’s automatically a party. You can tolerate, for example, the leader of the free world putting ketchup on burnt piece of prime-grade beef because you’re not going to eat off his plate. That would be gross.
But the food-as-party concept can force us outside our comfort zones. When your office runs out of pepperoni and three-meat, you might be stuck eating veggie. When you’re late to a kid’s birthday party and all that’s left is Hawaiian, well, the advice I have might upset my liberal snowflake bubble.
We’re all aspiring to raise adventurous eaters who make healthy choices. Lead by example. Try something new. Appreciate that your food preferences are choices and not the dictums of some godawful allergy. Think of the president and remember that people are making much poorer topping decisions.
And if you’re ever near Phoenix, try the Kona Pizza from Barro’s. It’ll correct your pineapple worldview.
Unless you’re my wife. Even though it’s tomato free, the Kona isn’t her favorite. I hope she never learns how to do a Stone Cold Stunner.