FoodItalians recoil at the sight of "horror pizza" served globally

Italians recoil at the sight of "horror pizza" served globally

"Pizza of horror according to the Italians."
"Pizza of horror according to the Italians."
Images source: © Adobe Stock

6:19 PM EST, December 10, 2023

Pizza, a dish known and adored in numerous countries, is prepared in an array of styles. Yet, to numerous Italians who consider themselves protectors of authentic pizza, certain adaptations to the traditional recipe can be categorically intolerable.

Filled with passion, tradition, and flavor, Italian cuisine represents a heavenly delight for some. However, this transforms into a terrifying nightmare for other individuals - particularly the Italians who pride themselves as master pizzaiolos. The sight of what they term "horror pizza" genuinely offends their culinary sensibilities.

In the wake of the sixth anniversary of the recognition of the art of pizza baking on the UNESCO heritage list, Italian food producers decided to stand up for the authenticity of pizza's original taste. According to a survey conducted by the Italian farmers and food producers association, Coldiretti, a significant 36% of Italians confessed to encountering "horror pizzas" when dining abroad. These monstrosities were attributed to subpar dough, dubious baking methods, or contentious toppings.

The pineapple pizza controversy is merely the tip of the iceberg

Pineapple, a polarizing pizza topping, is universally deemed unacceptable by Italians. However, this tropical fruit isn't the only egregious transgression that has left them horrified. Other versions of "horror pizzas" include toppings such as kangaroo meat, zebra, snake, crickets, tandoori chicken in yogurt, and even cannabis.

Italians are reluctant to grab a slice abroad

Reiterating the findings of the survey conducted by Coldiretti, the Italian farmers and food production association, it was discerned that 36% of Italians have encountered disagreeable pizza when traveling overseas. The culprits ranged from unpalatable flavors to dreadful dough and distasteful toppings. Even more astonishing, over a quarter of Italians decidedly abstain from eating pizza abroad.

A bite of authentic pizza helps keep inflation at bay

In a recent effort to uphold the essence of the original Italian pizza, it was observed that its consumption in Italy had surged by 14% over the previous year. As highlighted by Coldiretti, this delectable dish has proven to be an excellent buffer, particularly during inflationary periods. According to union data, 2.7 billion pizzas are baked at 121,000 locations throughout Italy annually.

Are "horror pizzas" simply a matter of preference?

While each person is entitled to their culinary preferences, Italians maintain that pizza is a national dish that deserves utmost reverence. From this standpoint, "horror pizzas" are regarded as a desecration of a cherished cultural artifact.

Will we witness the disappearance of "horror pizzas" from international menus?

Quite unlikely. Pizza is a versatile dish that can be personalizable in myriad ways. Even though pineapple-topped pizza might make Italians cringe, it's a combination that many people find incredibly delectable.

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