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Foodie Adventures: 5 Wacky Pizza Toppings from Around the World
From Japan to the Netherlands, we explore five of the strangest pie toppings on the planet.
“Yes, two slices, please.”
“Right away, what kind?”
“Get me that octopus with squid ink.”
Yup, that’s a real pizza order—if you’re getting your slice in certain parts of Japan. Pizza is a universal food that’s enjoyed by millions on a daily basis. But just like everything else, the Italian-born dish has a different spin in every culture. Pepperoni can be replaced by octopus, mozzarella can be substituted with cream cheese and squid ink is sometimes preferred over tomato sauce. Think you’d be up to the challenge of chowing down on some of these weird, wacky and wonderful toppings? At least one thing remains the same—if you don’t like it you can always nibble on the crust.
Preferred Pizza: “Dancing” katsuobushi
Katsuobushi is a type of dried, smoked tuna that is a popular topping for many pizza-makers (and eaters) throughout China. But why dancing? Well, once placed on a hot dish, the wafts of heat cause the katsuobushi to move back and forth – making your meal come alive. Good thing, bad thing? We’ll let you be the judge.
Preferred Pizza: Smoked reindeer
If you’re gonna try this one—we recommend waiting until Christmas has pasted and is far, far behind you (it could be too heart wrenching otherwise!) Still, reindeer is considered a delicacy in Finland and is the choice meat for the country’s popular Pizza Berlusconi. The Berlusconi variety actually won first place in the America’s Plate International competition back in 2008 – beating out the 2nd place Italians. It’s so well received that it’s available in many other countries throughout Europe and many regions in-and-around Asia.
Preferred Pizza: Seafood and squid ink
Mmmm….tasty? Japan is renowned for mixing the black ink into many of their Italian dishes, from pasta to pizza. Although a black pie might look a little strange, the “sauce” is said to add a sweet flavor to the meal. The ink can also be topped off with seafood options such as shrimp, calamari or, everyone’s favorite—octopus.
Preferred Pizza: Pizza hot dog
Can’t decide whether to munch on a pizza or a hot dog? Why not go for both at the same time. In Amsterdam, you can have any pizza topping you want smattered all over the top of a hot dog. Some may say disgusting – actually, no, no one says disgusting. This is genius! It’s the best of both worlds. It’s a freaking pizza hot dog!
Country: United States
Preferred Pizza: Peanut butter and jelly
Think the US is immune to the one of the world’s strangest combinations? C’mon—this is America. We’re innovators, and we can’t quite imagine anything more pioneering than taking one of our favorite comfort foods (PB&J) and combining it with another. PB&J pizza seems to appeared first at the Pizza Maniac in Pennsylvania, but we’re pretty sure people have producing it for years. The peanut butter is baked in with the dough and the jelly is spread on afterwards. It seems like more of a dessert dish, but we’d eat it any time of the day.