What do you think about when someone says the phrase “weird pizza toppings?” While your mind might immediately go to pizza-in-disguise combinations like taco pizza, cheeseburger pizza, or hot wing pizza, we want to encourage you to think even weirder.
Recently, we had our eyes opened to a strange and vast world of pizza toppings that some might call “otherworldly”—and others might call “actually very popular outside of North America” that you should at home sometime!
Peas & Corn
Two of the lesser weird pizza toppings, peas and corn, add a note of bright sweetness that can be appreciated alone or together. Brazil loves adding peas to pies topped with spinach and mushrooms, and Japan is crazy for corn with ham and boiled egg.
Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em on a pie? You bet you can! Potatoes are a popular pizza topping worldwide, from thin-sliced potato pieces with pesto and mozzarella cheese in Italy to tater tots, bacon and nacho cheese in your nearest college town. Mashed potatoes or french fries, no matter what way you like them, can be sure to add flavor to a savory pie.
If you’re sick of listening to your friends have the “Is pineapple on pizza a good thing or a bad thing?” argument, you can get them to stop by simply mentioning that banana is a popular pizza topping in many countries. Sweden’s banana curry pizza is made of bananas and ham, curry powder, and cheese on a thin pizza crust. In South Africa, they prefer to add mushrooms and avocado to their banana pizzas!
Since you’re reading this article, we assume you like pizza. Now how do you feel about coconut? What about coconut on pizza?
This weird pizza topping comes from Costa Rica and other South American countries where coconuts are so abundant people are just looking for ways to get rid of them. If you’re having trouble imagining what kind of pizza coconut would be good on, we’d like to inform you of Costa Rica’s second most popular pizza topping: shrimp. (Coconut shrimp pizza, anyone?)
Any way you can make eggs, eggs of that style have been added to the pizza. Scrambled eggs with bacon and hashbrowns make for a delicious breakfast pizza, and diced boiled eggs are the perfect way to make any other pizza toppings taste more decadent. Quail eggs are particularly popular in Japan. These eggs are often added to noodle dishes, curry, and even pizza!
Shellfish & Mollusks
Seafood on pizza? Yes, please! Think octopus, squid, crab, lobster, and other deep-water dwellers. These toppings are more common the closer you get to the sea: both east and west coast cities will have local pizza places with a specialty pizza covered in fresh, locally caught shellfish. If you want something further from home, both squid and squid ink is used as pizza toppings in Japan.
“Fish isn’t a weird pizza topping,” we can hear you thinking, “you can get anchovies from any pizza place.” But not so fast, self-appointed arbiter of weird pizza toppings! We’re not talking about half a dozen salted canned fish covered in oil; we’re talking about tuna, mackerel, salmon and sardines—put these four fishes on a pie with onions and serve cold. That’s a Mockba, and it’s Russia’s favorite weird toppings pizza. Is that fish weird enough for you?
If you’re assuming kangaroo meat is a popular pizza topping in Australia, you’re right. In Australia, kangaroos are farmed for their meat, and it’s not uncommon to see them listed on the menus of all different types of restaurants.
What other weird toppings go on a kangaroo pizza? It’s not that weird, actually: the best complement to the flavor of kangaroo is green chili peppers and lemon myrtle mayo. (If you can’t talk yourself into kangaroo, consider crocodile pizza with Thai herbs and spicy coconut cream or emu pizza with bush tomatoes.)
You might assume that horsemeat being served on pizzas in Denmark are a sign of cultural differences and that they’re a country where people more typically eat horsemeat—and you’d be half right. Originally, a local restaurant promoted the horsemeat pizzas as part of a joke related to a news story about horsemeat that was mislabeled and sold as beef, resulting in a minor scandal. Joke’s on them: the horsemeat pizzas caught on!
A Middle Eastern dish made by shaping thinly sliced meat into a cone shape and cooking it on a turning rotisserie, shawarma is popular all over the world, owing partly to how versatile it is: from chicken to beef to goat, nearly any meat can be made in the shawarma style. If you had to guess where shawarma pizza is especially popular, would you guess the Netherlands? We were surprised too!
If you’re looking for the highest concentration of weird pizza toppings on one pizza, this might be the one! German Biergarten are outdoor areas where food and beer are served to people eating at shared tables in a communal dining atmosphere that inspires community-building in a gorgeous natural setting.
While the food is usually traditional and the beer is sourced from local breweries, some Biergarten have taken the chance to embrace innovations like the Biergarten pizza. Bratwurst, sour kraut, and beer cheese on a single-serve pretzel-dough crust, and only growing in popularity since their introduction in 2012, we can only hope the Biergarten pizza makes it stateside one day.
Full English Breakfast Pizza
A full English breakfast was originally eaten by working-class laborers to keep them full through the workday and is now often eaten by tourists before a day of hiking and sightseeing or by locals as a hangover cure.
This hearty dish contains bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast, baked beans, and sometimes black pudding. So obviously, someone was going to put all that on a pizza to make the ultimate unique pizza for breakfast.
Which weird pizza topping do you think should be the next big food trend? What’s the weirdest pizza topping you’ve ever eaten? Is it your favorite pizza now? Let us know in the comments!