LIFE

Sam Panopoulos, Creator Of Pineapple Pizza, Dies At 83

Most tweeters set aside their differences to pay tribute to the “unforgettable" Panopoulos and his memorable topping.

11/06/2017 12:29 AM AEST | Updated 11/06/2017 12:29 AM AEST

Sam Panopoulos, the inventor of one of the most intense food debates in modern history ― pineapple pizza ― has died at age 83. 

The Greek-Canadian restaurateur died in a London, Ontario, hospital on Thursday, multiple outlets reported.

He came up with his creation after emigrating from Greece to Canada in 1954, where he went on to run restaurants with his brothers.

“We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste,” Panopoulos told the BBC in February. “We were young in the business and we were doing a lot of experiments.”

That experiment has led to one of the fiercest divides in food, more contentious than the hot dog’s sandwich status. His creation sparked a fierce debate on Twitter in March, after someone said on Twitter that a restaurant had refused to deliver her pineapple pizza. 

And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to leap to the creation’s defense in February, after Iceland’s President Gudni Johannesson said he wished he could ban the pizza topping.

But for Panopoulos’ passing, internet users (mostly) put aside their differences to mourn. 

Panopoulos said earlier this year he did not understand the opposition to the pineapple topping, which he described as having a “refreshing” bite.

But his obituary reveals the “unforgettable personality” took everything in his stride. “Fiercely loyal and protective, his candid and frank sense of humour, his booming laugh and blunt honesty will be missed by his family, friends, former employees and customers,” it reads.

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