Pizza needs no translation–wherever you ask for it, you'll get it! But what toppings can you get?
When bakers from Naples created the modern pizza almost 3 centuries ago, they probably never dreamed it would become one of the most popular foods around the world and even one of the favorite foods ever! I also doubt they had an idea about how people in the future would be so inspired to create so many different kinds of pizza! If around 60 or 70 years ago, we could choose from just a few kinds of pizza, nowadays, there are so many of them that one could write a book about them! There are now dozens of crusts, zillions of toppings, and limitless combinations to get your favorite juicy triangle of pure pleasure. And while some combos are considered classic, iconic and ‘evergreens’ beyond question, there are also the trendy ones that come and go, some even so strange and so specific that only the bravest ones can try them and perhaps enjoy them. Gordon Ramsay may openly despise pineapple on pizza, but it happens that this isn't the weirdest ingredient used–around the world, nothing is off the table when it comes to topping a pizza!
This list could be much longer, but for now, let’s see 15 of the most unusual pizza toppings ever and 5 that can just never go out of vogue. And unusual pizza crusts? Well, they're a different story—and a long one!
20 Weird: Crocodile Meat
The Heritage Hotel in Sydney, Australia came up with three different and rather weird pizza toppings. One of them features crocodile meat marinated in spicy coconut cream and a bunch of fresh Thai herbs. It happened to become very popular, especially among foreign tourists, which probably means it’s good, right? Or maybe they’re just too adventurous? Crocodile meat is described to taste like chicken with some fishy moments, but would you give it a try?
19 Weird: Kangaroo Meat
Here's another pizza ‘treat’ coming from the smallest continent. Yup, it’s topped with kangaroo meat and garnished with slices of red onions, native bush tomatoes from Australia (that have a specific caramel-tomato-eggplant taste on their own), roasted capsicums, and some cranberries, resulting in a sweet and sour combo complemented by the gamy flavor of the meat. This rather controversial recipe is brought to a higher level with a similar one called ‘Coat of Arms’—half kangaroo, half emu—ironically a reference to the coat of arms of Australia that has those animals.
18 Weird: Curry Banana
Surprisingly, this pizza topping doesn't come from India where curry and banana are a rather popular combination. It was actually made in Sweden (who would make a connection between bananas and Sweden?), and it‘s one of the most popular pizzas there, so much so that it can be found under the ‘classic pizza' section in the menus! But it‘s not made from those two ingredients only. It also has the classic tomato sauce, smoked ham or smoked cheese for the vegetarian version, and possibly some peanuts or cashew nuts. Those who had the courage to try it say it's perfect if you like the flavor of curry and the mix of sweet and salty.
17 Classic: Margarita
‘The mother of all pizzas,’ adorned in the colors (red, white and green) of the flag of Italy, should definitely be the first on the 'iconic pizza toppings' list! This centuries-old recipe includes thin crust of wheat dough, fresh uncooked tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and a few leaves of aromatic fresh basil. Simple as that! Due to its mild and discreet flavor, Margarita happens to be one of the most popular pizzas around the world and one of the most favorite vegetarian pizzas ever. If by any wonder you still haven’t tried it, don't wait any longer–order some right now!
16 Weird: Haggis
One of the best-known Scottish national dishes, haggis is kind of weird on its own. It’s a savory pudding made of sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs combined with onions and some spices and traditionally encased in sheep’s stomach. And on Burns Night, a holiday established in honor of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, you can eat haggis pizza in many places across the UK. In addition to the famous pudding, this pizza is also topped with black cabbage or cavolo nero, burning hot black chili pepper jam, and some mozzarella as the only ‘normal’ ingredient.
15 Weird: Chocolate
Well, you can’t really classify this one as gross, disgusting, or detrimental to the environment. This one's wonderfully weird! It's a thin, crispy pizza crust topped with hazelnut spread and loads of chocolate with different flavors–am I in heaven or what? Bless the men who invented it!
You can easily make this pizza at home within just a couple of minutes, or you can find it in the frozen food section as the number of companies producing it is continuously growing—and for good reason! You can find it enriched with colorful candies, pralines, and other chocolate goodness, and whatever you choose, you can be sure it'll be a most unique and most impressive experience for your taste buds!
14 Weird: Mashed Potatoes
Using mashed potatoes as a base for a gluten-free pizza crust isn't something new and unusual. But using them instead of the classic tomato sauce? Now that’s odd! However, there are many restaurants and bars across the globe that have this kind of pizza on their menus, and they have a simple explanation for it: you can serve your baked potatoes with just about anything, so why not use them on pizza? And it actually makes sense. Bacon, fresh aromatic herbs, and of course, cheese complement this uncommon ‘sauce,’ but vegetables can also be included.
13 Classic: Capricciosa
Since it was invented by Enea Dante Santerini, the owner of the restaurant La Capricciosa in Rome, and patented in 1952, this pizza has always been on the classics list. The authentic one is topped with mozzarella, prosciutto, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes, but nowadays, there are many similar versions that include salami, black olives, or anchovies, and they're all sold by the same name. And it doesn’t really matter which version you choose, as all those fusions deserve their place on the evergreen pizza list.
12 Weird: Reindeer Meat
There's a pretty interesting story behind this relatively new pizza topping. After visiting Finland in 2005, a former prime minister of Italy declared that people from Finland eat nothing else but marinated reindeer. They took this as a dis and decided to respond to him by creating a dish from Italy with a twist from Finland: pizza with rye crust, chanterelle mushrooms, red onion, cheese, and most importantly, smoked reindeer meat, and called it nothing less than ‘Pizza Berlusconi’! The embassy of Italy even insisted the name to be removed, but it never happened. What's more, in 2008, this pizza won the title of best pizza in the world by ironically pushing an entry from Italy into second place.
11 Weird: Horse Meat
For most people, it would be impossible to even imagine putting horse meat on pizza. Or eating it at all. But not for people in Denmark—horse meat pizza is one of the most popular pizzas in this country. The Copenhagen restaurant Gorm serves this kind of pizza and uses its originality for promotion by holding a sign just outside the restaurant that says, “Are you ready for a scandal? Then Gorm's pizza with horse is a good finale!" As a matter of fact, many tourists are reluctant to try it, but those who have say it's 'pretty damn tasty.' Would you take their word for it, or would you try it for yourself?
10 Weird: Four Fish
The four-cheese pizza may be a classic, but what about a four-fish one? Yes, this thing exists, and it was invented in Russia. Widely known as ‘Mockba’ after wrongly transcribing the word for Moscow, this pizza is topped with four types of fish: tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel, in addition to onions, herbs, and roe—definitely a strong flavor combination you'll long remember! Speaking of remembering, don‘t forget to take some fresh mints afterward! Unlike any other pizza, the Four-Fish is traditionally served cold, which is probably even more bizarre than the topping. This fact, along with the name and the topping, makes it triple ‘weirdo‘ and gives it the ‘right‘ to be on this list.
9 Classic: Al Tonno
Speaking of fish pizza, we should, of course, mention the simple pizza al tonno, namely, pizza with tuna. This classic pizza can literally be found in any pizzeria, and it‘s the favorite one of many people. Besides tuna and the basic tomato sauce, it usually includes onion slices, mozzarella, and some oregano and basil, though other vegetables like bell peppers, corn, and even olives can be added as well. Some may find its flavor strong, but those who like eating fish certainly adore this pizza!
8 Weird: Pickles, Grapes, Wine, And Cheese
This combination may look great in some fancy gourmet restaurant‘s menu, but as a pizza topping? Who knows? This pizza evolved from a famous sweet pie of Italy, namely grape focaccia. Someone decided to spice it up with two kinds of cheese (delectable Gorgonzola and buttery, nutty Fontina) and some sweet red wine. As if wine as a pizza topping didn't sound strange enough, they added some pickles, too. Well, that‘s a weird mix, isn't it? Any volunteers for trying it? Not me! However, this combo may become popular among vegetarians.
7 Weird: Coconut
Coconut is great for desserts and some exotic dishes. Well, Costa Ricans decided to put it on pizza, and it shouldn't surprise us! Their beaches are full of palm trees, and coconut is a staple, so why not use it on pizza? The crust is covered with tomato sauce and prawns (another staple in this Central American country) and freshly shredded coconut is sprinkled on top just like grated cheese! This pizza certainly has a unique texture and tropical taste and could be worth trying if you're after unusual pizza flavors!
6 Weird: Happy Meal Pizza
If you think this pizza has something to do with the kids‘ favorite McDonald‘s meal, you're right! Yes, this is a thing! If you were hungry and couldn't decide between pizza or burger or chicken nuggets, now, you can have them all three at once, plus French fries! How crazy and how good is that! Crispy crust topped with tomato sauce, hamburgers, fries, nuggets, and cheese is definitely unusual!
However, this pizza topping has nothing to do with McDonald's. It's true that they stopped selling pizzas in 2012 despite them being extremely popular, because, as the official McDonald‘s report stated, 'it took too long to prepare it' (11 minutes, to be precise), but their pizzas were 'normal.' However, someone somewhere came up with this idea, and you can easily make your own Happy Meal Pizza at home.
5 Classic: Quattro Fromaggi
The famous Quatro Formaggi or four-cheese pizza packed with delectable cheeses should certainly be a meal you ought to try at least once in your lifetime. Besides basic tomato sauce, the crispy crust is covered with creamy mozzarella, delicate Gorgonzola, strong Pecorino Romano, and Swiss Gruyere, making the most wonderful combination of bread and cheese you could possibly imagine. Of course, the choice of cheeses can vary depending on regions and personal preferences, with ricotta and Parmesan being the most popular 'substitutes.' Aromatic herbs and black olives are welcome as well, making this pizza a real treat for everyone, especially for vegetarians.
4 Weird: Peas
Vegetables are great on pizza. I mean, tomatoes, olives, onions, mushrooms… enough said, right? But how about peas? Not such a great idea? Well, adding peas on pizza is actually pretty common in Brazil, and those tiny green sweet drops, combined with tomato sauce and cheese, are allegedly one of the most popular and most favorite pizza toppings there. If that‘s not enough, they can add some sliced carrots, beets, and raisins as well!
Aside from people from Brazil, peas are used by other people from other countries as well. Just a couple of years ago, the notorious ‘Peazza‘ was a real hit, resulting in some cheese and lots of peas and mayonnaise dividing the world even more than pineapple ever did!
3 Weird: Chicken - Bacon - Onion - Strawberries
OK… It was fine before someone decided to add strawberries here. They're just perfect fresh and in cakes. But in pizza? Not really. At least not in this one!
This recipe was created by a nameless food blogger, and those who were brave and adventurous enough to try the recipe described it as ‘a recipe for indigestion.' It doesn‘t really sound attractive. Well, this is probably one of those ‘put whatever you have in the fridge recipes.' If you're still into experimenting with strawberries on savory pizza, you may want to try another equally weird combination: one with salmon, cheese, and basil!
2 Weird: Macaroni And Cheese
Yes, this is real! Macaroni and cheese is one of the classics and all-time favorites, but could it be used as a pizza topping? It can indeed! The UK pizza giant Papa John’s has offered this option to its customers: a normal slice of pizza crust covered right up to the crust border with cooked spiral macaroni and covered with loads of cheese! They say the first few bites may taste a bit ‘different," but before you even notice, you’ll be enjoying your favorite mac and cheese topped on a thin pizza crust!
1 Classic: Pizza Marinara
It wouldn't be fair to neglect vegans and not put any vegan-friendly pizza on this list! Well, here it is: last but not the least, one of the simplest pizza toppings ever! Pure tomato sauce or simple chopped tomatoes, a few garlic cloves, a couple of drizzles of olive oil, and a sprinkle of oregano, and there it is—your Marinara is done! Its name, translated from Italy's language, means ‘sailor‘s pizza,' and it got it because originally, it was the poor sailors who ordered it the most. Obviously, this one's dairy-free as well, so if you haven‘t tried it yet, go for it!
So, would you dare to try some?