Normally I try to ignore these sort of things but I do have an opinion on the issue and I think that it’s worth talking about because I believe it talks to a deeper systematic issue of rising intolerance.
Now I can guess anyone reading this might think “But Fin, what do you know about cooking? You’re a self-described microwave chef!”(1)
I deny nothing. However I am a guy who knows how to eat and I’ve watched a lot of Good Eats over the years and I’ve learned a thing or two.
“Sweet and Salty” is a very legitimate flavour combination. Think chocolate covered pretzels, or maple candied bacon, or a personal favourite: salted caramel(2). Fruit jam and cheese parings are a well established thing.
If my opinion isn’t enough, Alton Brown (host of Good Eats) has my back:
“I don’t want people saying what should or should not be on a pizza,” Brown told People. “You put anything on a pizza you damn well feel like.”
Now that we have that obnoxious business out of the way, I want to discuss (briefly) about what this sort of “debate” and the attention it’s garnered is telling me about the current state of affairs.
In today’s climate binary social/cultural systems of classification are being legitimately deconstructed. With deconstruction comes confusion and from confusion comes a need for understanding and what helps with understanding? Labels and categories.
However as much as a label can help classify a person’s identity, political/social stance, or a relationship status, it has the equal power to inhibit truly deep understanding of what is being labeled by simplifying the subject in question into a word with it’s own denotation(s) and connotation(s) that may or may not at all aid in deep understanding of the subject.
In an effort to help “resolve” mis-labeling, an expert might be consulted or have their words used as a source of authority such as Gordon Ramsay’s or Alton Brown and as definitive as their opinion may seem on a subject what is best to be kept in mind is: these are opinions about preferences.
As I’ve outlined above there is scientific evidence for pineapple being a legitimate choice for a pizza just as there is scientific evidence for gender being a spectrum rather than a binary classification. Just as I’ve outlined above some people prefer to have pineapple on their pizza and some people don’t just like some people prefer to use labels as some people don’t. At the end of the day, it is not up to us to decided on who gets to do what with their pizza just as it is not up to us to decide how people identify.
Here’s my take away from this whole “pineapple pizza” debacle: Pizza is like love. You can put what you like on your pie and I can put what I like on mine. If you don’t like what I have on my pizza, good. More for me. Don’t worry, I won’t force you to eat my pie. Besides I’m pretty sure that’s illegal in most places. You do you mate and I’ll do me.
What I like on my pizza-pie? Pineapples and Anchovies. Do I have a label for it? Naw, I don’t feel like it needs one. I like it just as it is.
- See “My first English Xmas Dinner”
- If you’re interested in knowing more about why “sweet and salty” works from a scientific perspective, check out the How Stuff Works article “Why do Sweet and Salty Taste so Good Together?”