Playing with pizza is usually a case of trying to fix what isn’t broken. So perfect is the original Neapolitan blueprint that there is even a society committed to protecting it. However, thanks to wilfully creative and irreverent chefs, modern pizzas comes in an infinite array of colours and flavours. While most of these are delicious, as it’s extremely difficult to make bread, cheese and tomato not taste nice, there are a few restaurateurs who have pushed pizza into all sorts of strange and uncomfortable forms. Containing enough blasphemy to reduce the whole of Naples to tears, her are six nations who deliver the world’s weirdest pizza twists.
The astonishing looking Pizza Africana is a Scandinavian staple that seems to have been designed to give nonna’s everywhere a heart attack. The Africana’s distinctly un-pizza-like pizza toppings typically include bananas, pineapple, peanuts and curry powder. Quite why anyone felt that this hideous mish-mash of cultures and flavours was a good idea remains a mystery.
While Sweden’s pizza may be disgusting, it shouldn’t actually kill you - barring a severe peanut/authenticity allergy. However, there is a restaurant in Zurich that seems to welcome the idea of lethal pie with open arms. Chef Ismail Ertekin flavoured his menu with snake, spider and scorpion venom, which he extracted in his restaurant. Unsurprisingly, health and safety authorities shut the restaurant down once the ingredients became known, providing a sting in the tail for Ertekin.
A foodie nation with a passion for strange street food, it should come as little surprise to learn that Korea is a land riddled with odd pizzas. While the unappetisingly named “cheesecake sand” pizza deserves a fair mention, the undoubted turd on top of the Korean cake is the maverick “blueberries with ranch sauce”. Baffling critics and diners since its release, this creation has finally provided the irrefutable proof that blueberries and ranch do not belong together.
Rightly renowned across the world as the ultimate hangover cure, full-English breakfasts are a glorious tribute to grease. Beans, tomatoes, hash browns, sausage, bacon and egg are all invaluable contributors to an indulgent, fat focused fry-up. Putting this smorgasbord on a pizza, however, is at best questionable, and at worst idiotic. While the toppings alone are undoubtedly delicious, when added to pizza they have the potential to ruin two comfort food classics.
In 2013, British supermarkets became embroiled in a shocking scandal. To the horror of shoppers, some retailers had been supplementing their ready meals with horsemeat from Denmark. While this came as a surprise to Brits, the Danes barely batted an eyelid. This is probably because they’ve been putting horse on their pizza for years.
Not all twists have to be a bad idea. Proving that inventive street food sellers can sometimes help classics evolve to the next level, Hungarian langos is a triumph of invention over tradition. Featuring a deep fried dough base topped with ketchup, meat sour cream and cheese, it may be simple, but langos is undoubtedly effective.
While this collection proves that twists can sometimes pay off, it also makes clear that the chances of success are very low. For every langos, you have to deal with a Pizza Africana. However, this is the price we’ll have to pay if we don’t all want to be eating margheritas from here to eternity.