World

Greek-Canadian who created Hawaiian pizza dies at 83

OTTAWA, CANADA The Greek immigrant who created one of the world's most popular and controversial pizzas - the Hawaiian pizza - in his restaurant more than 50 years ago, has died.

Mr Sam Panopoulos - who put canned pineapple and ham on a pizza at his Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, in 1962 - was 83 and had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife Christina.

He died suddenly in hospital last Thursday.

Mr Panopoulos had operated a string of successful restaurants with his brothers Elias and Nikitas when he came up with the Hawaiian for fun. It soon spread around the world.

In February, the dish became the target of ridicule by Iceland's President Guoni Johannesson. Saying he was fundamentally opposed to pineapple on pizza, Mr Johannesson joked that it should be banned, but was glad he did not hold such power.

Defending his creation, Mr Panopoulos told public broadcaster CBC that"nobody liked it at first".

"But after that, they went crazy about it, because (in) those days nobody was mixing sweet and sour and all that. It was plain, plain food," he said. - AFP

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