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Canadian inventor of Hawaiian pizza, Sam Panopoulos, has died at age 83

10 June 2017

An Ontario man who invented the Hawaiian pizza, a style of pizza known for its inclusion of pineapple and ham, has died at the age of 83, leaving a legacy that has delighted, confused and appalled diners worldwide, the media reported.

Mr Panapoulos was an "unforgettable personality" and "respected by many for providing strong and dependable advice, and for his exceedingly generous nature", according to his obituary.

"Fiercely loyal and protective, his candid and frank sense of humour, his booming laugh and blunt honesty will be missed by his family, friends, former employees and customers".

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Panopoulos moved from Greece to Canada in 1954 and opened up a number of restaurants, to which he introduced the pineapple-on-pizza to his menus.

The chef had operated a string of successful restaurants with his brothers Elias and Nikitas when he came up with his famous invention. Most Canadians didn't even know pizza was a thing back then.

"The only place you could have pizza was in Detroit". His creation sparked a fierce debate on Twitter in March, after someone said on Twitter that a restaurant had refused to deliver her pineapple pizza.

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In 1962, he threw pieces of pineapple on top along with bits of ham and bacon, thinking that the sweet and savory mix would tantalize tastebuds.

Little did he know it would eventually become a fixture on pizza menus all over the world.

But not everyone loves the Hawaiian - the distinctive pizza hit the headlines earlier this year when Iceland's president Guoni Johannesson said he thought it should be banned.

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Even the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, responded to a question on the subject on Twitter: Inevitably, Panopoulos was also asked about Johannesson's comments: "The guy is insane. For pizzas, I recommend seafood". "And I stand behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation".

Canadian inventor of Hawaiian pizza, Sam Panopoulos, has died at age 83