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Video Essay Project

The Great Pineapple Pizza Debate

Author’s Note:

The specific video clips and pictures chosen show both the process of pizzas being made and specific types of pizzas, or are used to show events (i.e. Sam Panopoulos, WW2, 1960s). The audio isn’t as important, but I felt the music overlay would add for a relaxing steadiness and help fill some air.

In making the essay, I had planned originally to have some interviews of friends and possibly an interview with a “flavor expert”. However, between scheduling and the business of life, these elements never panned out. Even without these elements, though, I think this video still stands strong (though it would certainly benefit the video).

The argument I make is clear, the examples of the argument being an actual one are clearly shown, and the elements all flow together smoothly.

The section that I filmed was done because there was nothing else that would work over that specific moment (ordering the pizza) other than me actually doing it. I think it adds a comedic element to the video while showing what I’m tlking about, and I think the personal anecdote strengthens my stance on the matter.

While this video is on the shorter side, I stand by it meeting the criteria and would possibly want to remake or expand this in the future. I do really enjoy editing in the video essay format.


I want you to think of a pizza. What is this pizza made out of? What does it look like? Is the cheese gooey?

There are 4 basic elements at play when constructing a pizza: the dough, or, rather, the crust; the sauce; the cheese; and the toppings.

The first 3 elements – crust, sauce, and cheese – are, for the most part, universally accepted and aren’t cause for too much controversy. More likely than not, the idea of a “normal” pizza will have a hand tossed crust, a marinara or tomato-based sauce, and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Yet the most variable, the most subjective part of building a pizza, is also the most disputed; the topping.

NOTE: Some people consider cheese to be a topping. This is technically true, but, for the purpose of this video, cheese will be considered a lack of toppings. I hereby propose an apology to the population of palate-less pizza purchasers.

Now while each topping comes with its own set of scrutiny and preferences, as some people can’t eat certain types of meat or will, on the opposite end, get a “meat lovers” mix, I would suggest that no topping has faced nearly as much scrutiny as the pineapple.

Although the founding of pizza itself dates back to the late 18thcentury, pineapple wasn’t added until the 1960s. In 1962, a man named Sam Panopoulos created the very first “Hawaiian Pizza” at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. While the common toppings of the time were mushroom, pepperoni, and sausage, Panopoulos decided he would experiment with many different toppings. He tried olives, he tried bacon, he tried anochovies, but none stuck out quite like the pineapple. See, in that time many people were World War 2 veterans and, after spending a great deal of time in Hawaii, had made canned pineapple a food staple in their homes. So, while rummaging through toppings, Sam decided to add a can of pineapple to one of his pizzas, thinking of the sweet and salty combination, and bam. Hawaiian Pizza was born. However, this wild idea was met with a bit of reluctancy.

It’s no secret that pineapple is probably the heaviest debated of toppings. From late night talk shows to internet shows to TV chefs, there seems to be a popular hate trend for pineapple on pizza. However, on the opposite end of this spectrum, there are places like r/knightofpineapple on reddit that daily praise and defend their love for pineapple – both on pizza and in general.

To me, saying one topping deserves to be on a pizza more than another is outrageous. It’s a constant struggle with my friends who don’t believe pineapple is a worthy pizza topping. I go to order a pizza and always have to ask permission before ordering a pizza whether pineapple is ok. So, I say let’s move on. Let’s expand our palates. Let’s see where food can take us. Let’s try the sweet, try the savory, try the weird and bizarre. And, most importantly, let them eat pineapple.

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