What does pizza look like around the world?
A tasty tour of toppings that are just odd enough to work.
With the world-shattering arrival of bacon-wrapped pizzas stuffed to the brim with cheese, we thought we'd seen it all here in the United States.
But we didn't realize what was happening overseas. Brilliant things, weird things, amazing things... and all of them strangely mouthwatering. Take a culinary tour around the world with some of the most unexpected pizza toppings – and you'll soon be having second thoughts the next time you say "plain cheese, please."
Corn-crazy in Korea
Pizza topped with crumbled sausage, potatoes, mayonnaise, mushrooms, sweet corn, bacon, and a sweet potato-stuffed crust at Idae in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo: ello_there/Flickr)
In case you were just wondering about how to put an entire meal on one pizza, South Korea's got you covered. This impressive creation has just about every ingredient you would usually see spread on a dinner plate – meat, potatoes, vegetables ... mayonnaise?
Well, why not?
Mediterranean-style in Israel
Goat cheese pizza at a restaurant in Jerusalem. (Photo: Or Hiltch/Flickr)
Restaurants in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem elevate pizza to the next level with toppings like tangy goat cheese and roasted eggplant. Israel is also where vegans can go to find plenty of pizza options, from the soy cheese option at Domino's to the veggie-licious creations at Tel Aviv's Gusto.
Shakshouka pizza – with tomato sauce, feta and, of course, egg. (Photo: joyosity/Flickr)
Public service announcement: Shakshouka pizza is apparently a thing. We didn't think that anything could get better than the original cheesy, tomato goodness topped with eggs, but we stand corrected.
Similar to the popular menu item in France, it's like a pizza-fied variation of khachapuri, and it sounds like the perfect meal for any time of day. There's something about eating a fried egg on your pizza that just seems... right. Dig in with knife and fork at the ready!
Pizza-on-the-barbie in Australia
Pizza topped with pineapple, onions, and various barbecued ingredients at a restaurant in South Australia. (Photo: Daniel DiMarco/Flickr)
With toppings like pineapple, shrimp and barbecue sauce, it's a tropical party on a pizza. Australians have also been known to up their game with, well, game – from kangaroo to emu.
A burst of flavor in India
Chicken tandoori pizza at a restaurant in Bombay. (Photo: mroach/Flickr)
Dotted with homemade paneer cheese and carefully crafted tandoori chicken, Indian pizza is exactly what you'd expect it to be: delicious, flavorful and worth every last bite.
Fishy toppings in Germany and Russia
Pizza topped with tuna fish in Germany. (Photo: Kay Kremerskothen/Flickr)
The star of the show in Germany is tuna fish. "Thunfisch" pizza there is like pepperoni pizza here, eaten as-is or with myriad other toppings to complement the canned fish.
A seafood masterpiece, pizza in Russia is often topped with a mixture called "mockba," which includes sardines, tuna, salmon and onions.
Africa meets Italy in Scandinavia
Pizza topped with ham shreds, pineapple, banana, curry powder and herbs at E.A.T. Restaurang Pizza Bar in Norway. (Photo: Robyn Lee/Flickr)
You read that right. "Pizza Africana" is a popular way to enjoy pizza in Sweden and Norway. It's like a Hawaiian-style pizza, except with the intriguing addition of bananas and a bit of curry spice. Some variations also have cashews.
An all-veggie version of Okonomiyaki. (Photo: Lucas Richarz/Flickr)
Japan offers its own version of pizza called "Okonomiyaki." It may be known as Japanese pizza, but it's much more than that – from the perfect, pancake-like base to the multitude of toppings, including (but definitely not limited to) mayonnaise, smoked bonito shavings, dried seaweed, teriyaki sauce, and a fried egg.
All we've got left to say is: pepperoni shmepperoni.
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