Pizza. The ultimate comfort food. Whether you’re cramming for exams in your dorm room or you’ve just come off a hard day’s work and can’t muster up the energy to cook, you can always just call in an order and within 45 minutes, a delivery person will show up at your doorstep with cheesy, gooey goodness.
Here’s an interesting fact: despite the creative and inventive ways we tend to cook pizza in an oven – be it stuffed with cheese or covered with odd toppings – the industry is actually quite conservative. Papa John himself was kicked off the board of Papa John’s for being a little too hard-right-wing. It’s odd, considering the ways pizza can be re-invented over and over again, whatever your desire.
When Donald Trump was running for president, a video of him eating pizza was mocked by Jon Stewart relentlessly as he used a knife and fork. That’s just not how you’re supposed to eat pizza, Mr. Burnt Steak With Ketchup man! Politics aside, we can all agree that pizza is universally appreciated, and we can eat it how we wish, with whatever we want atop it.
Here are the eight best pizza toppings that you may have had and some that you never even thought of in the past.
Before we discuss the best pizza toppings, it’s important to determine the recipes first. Homemade pizza is something easy to perfect, whether you make your own dough or by it from the store. Once you have it, ideally you want to lather the dough with a layer of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and maybe a few seasonings. Then you spread the tomato sauce. At this point, you get to choose your toppings, sprinkle them around. Then comes the cheese – your choice which kind.
Some pizzas don’t even use tomato sauce. You can sub in pesto, Indian butter paste or a number of other inventive ingredients to create it just the way you want.
2. Pepperoni toppings
When it comes to the best pizza toppings, of course we have to start with the obvious. For meat-eaters, nothing can be better than a floppy, foldable slices of triangle, cheesy goodness. But what kind of pepperoni? New York-style giant, round pieces or tiny chunks? The answer, of course, is entirely up to personal preference. But for non-vegetarians, a pizza is rarely a pizza without pepperoni.
3. Chipotle chicken toppings
Canadians will know this jingle once they read it and it’ll echo in their heads for decades. I’m sure there are some that, on their deathbeds, this will be their last thought: 737-1111. PizzaPizza offers a fantastically spicy combination of cheese, tomato sauce and chunks of chicken smothered in red hot chipotle sauce. Not for the faint of heart, but if you want a great, spicy pizza, this is the way to go.
4. Mushroom toppings
Moving on to the non-meat eaters, mushrooms add a rich, interesting texture to an already layered meal. There’s something that seems incongruous about it on the page, but in the mouth, it’s a wonderland. These are among the best pizza toppings that taste absolutely delicious.
5. Pineapple toppings
This one is hotly debated among pizza lovers. Some adore pineapple and believe it’s one of the best pizza toppings. Unfortunately, others find it intolerable. But if it’s to your liking, more power to you. The best advice is to at least try it out, see if you like it. You only live once, and you may never actually visit Hawaii.
6. Spinach toppings
The best way to include spinach in pizza – I’ll tell you from experience – is to crumble it into the tiniest specs of grain and spread it around, then add a bit of hot pepper and olive oil. The mixture will melt in your mouth, creating a texture that you’ve never experienced before. If you live in Montreal, there’s a stand underneath a porno theatre on De La Montangue below Ste. Catherine and it is a little known sanctuary for pizza lovers.
7. Sausage toppings
The great thing about sausage on pizza is the variety of flavour. Some prefer a spicy one, others do mild. Whatever your choice, it’ll surely enrich the experience beyond just a simple cheese and tomato pizza.
8. Artichoke hearts toppings
I find it best to do this when you’re making it yourself, as you can regulate just how much or how little you want on each piece. The juice of the artichoke blends wonderfully with the tomato sauce and cheese, to create an inventive slice you never thought you’d like, but will create a taste explosion. For bonus points, add a few capers.
9. Bacon toppings
Personally, I find bacon overrated. But the saturated fat is enormously popular among people who love food. There are different ways to apply it to pizza – be it bacon crumble or full strips. Either way, if bacon is your jam, then bacon makes an excellent addition. It works incredibly well in tandem with pepperoni.