Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

The inventor of the Hawaiian pizza has died

The inventor of the Hawaiian pizza has died

Sotirios "Sam" Panopoulos, 83, died suddenly on Thursday at University Hospital in London, Ont., an obituary posted online on Friday said.

Panopoulos, along with his brother, are credited with being the first people to put pineapple on a pizza at their Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, in 1954.

The man who invented the oh-so-yummy Hawaiian pizza has sadly passed away.

'We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste, ' Panopoulos told BBC in February.

He settled in Ontario and operated a number of restaurants alongside his two brothers, Elias and Nikitas.

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It is the poster child of one of the most divisive food conversations of our time: do you, or don't you, like pineapple on savoury foods?

"We were young in the business and we were doing a lot of experiments".

It served typical American fare such as burgers and fries, as well as Chinese dishes and, in the early 1960s, Panopoulos chose to start offering pizzas, which had become popular in the US. Because in those days nobody was mixing candies and sours and all that.

There have been infamous pineapple on pizza stories over the years, but none more so than when the Iceland president Gudni Johannesson said he wanted to ban it. Jóhannesson recently revealed his distaste for pineapple as a pizza topping when taking questions from students at a local high school. "For pizzas, I recommend seafood".

And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emerged as a fan of the dish on Twitter, saying he was #teampineapple.

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"He was a protector and his candid sense of humour, laughter and blunt honesty will be missed by all his friends, customers and former employees", his obituary read.

Panopoulos, 83, and had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife Christina.

His funeral will be held Monday morning.

Talking to Canadian broadcaster CBC in February this year Panopolous said at first it was just an experiment.

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