In a polite, civilised society what is it acceptable, or indeed decent, to put on a pizza?
The great pineapple debate still rampages destructively through the pizza world, turning brothers against sisters, tearing marriages apart and upsetting an awful lot of Italians. But could it be that the Hawaiian backlash has us missing culinary opportunities for fear of being ostracised from the pizza-appreciating world?
Below are the pizzas bucking the authenticity trend in the capital, swapping fior di latte for fruit and carciofi for curry.
Homeslice – Kimchi
When it comes to gut-friendly superfoods, kimchi is king. Over at Homeslice, the Korean-born fermented cabbage dish is so revered that they've paired it with an eyebrow-raising vegan offering of porcini cream and basil. Pick the topping for one half of your epic pizza, or both if you’re feeling adventurous. If you're going all out, they offer cauliflower cheese as an alternative base to tomato.
WC2, W1, EC1, EC4, homeslicepizza.co.uk
Bunga Bunga Battersea – Prune
Most things about Bunga Bunga are a little bit different – from the painting of Silvio Berlusconi with the body of a shark to the cocktail glasses shaped like Luciano Pavarotti’s head – and on the food side of things, they've a pizza topped with a digestion-friendly sprinkling of prunes. The Lento Spiedo teams the fruit with slow roasted lamb and chilli for a middle eastern inspired approach, with an added dose of regularity.
37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA, battersea.bungabunga-london.com
Crate Brewery – Dahl, banana and mango chutney
When looking for menu inspiration, it seems Crate Brewery somewhat overshot Italy and ended up in the Indian subcontinent. The canalside brewery serves up their crisp, thin based pizzas from an in-house pizza oven that hosts flavour inspirations from around the world. The Kashmiri Dahl pizza is no exception, topped with mozzarella, curried lentils, banana slices, yoghurt, cumin seeds, spinach, crispy shallots and mango chutney.
7 The White Building, Queen's Yard, E9 5EN, cratebrewery.com
Pizza Union – Chicken, beef and pork (all together)
We’ve had fruits and veggies in peculiar partnerships, but here’s a little something for the carnivores. Meat Feast pizzas are ten-a-penny, granted, but it is a rare and beautiful thing (if you are that way inclined) to find one that goes so far as to host three different animals on one pie. The Carne at Pizza Union does just that, with strips of chicken breast, minced beef and slices of pepperoni topping this meat-packed pizza. Vegans, you might want to avert your eyes.
E1 (two locations), E8, N1, pizzaunion.com
Picky Wops – Blueberry
At vegan restaurant Picky Wops, choose from 18 meat-and-dairy-free pizzas, topped with eight different types of vegan cheese and a myriad of meat substitutes. Thinking outside of the box is the name of the game here, with the Vegan Temptations pizza (see above) even including a sprinkling of blueberries over a mix of coconut mozzarella, almond ricotta, kale and broccolini. Still sure you want to jump on the vegan bandwagon?
7 Shopping Palace, North End Road, SW6 1NN, pickywops.com
Yard Sale Pizza – Jackfruit
Yard Sale Pizza largely toes the line of pizza normalcy in their menu, but there’s always one that slips through the net. This north London pizza place regularly hosts collaborations with other foodie folks and, until mid-February, Biff’s Jack Shack is taking the reins. The vegan junk food champion is topping the Jack To The Future pizza with crispy fried jackfruit – a peculiar ingredient that is to all intents and purposes a fruit, but when cooked gains a texture and taste similar to pulled pork. Naturally the whole pizza, which comes with chipotle slaw, blue cheese & buffalo sauce, is totally vegan.
E5, N4, E17, yardsalepizza.com