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Strange (But Delicious) Pizza Toppings

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Tired of the same old pizza toppings? Yes, we all love the standard varieties: pepperoni, ham and pineapple, vegetarian — but how about something new? There’s a wild world of pizza out there. Don’t let pizza prejudice hold you back.

We at Giordano’s have scoured the world’s craziest pizza concoctions and discovered some real wacky toppings. These crazy combinations of pizza toppings will blow your mind and taste buds.

Some toppings offer a simple twist on our beloved go-to pizzas, while others fall into the mad scientist category of pizza creation. Let your imagination yank you into pizza paradise. Abandon any misgiving about the possibility of pizza — you’ll be glad you did.

In our journey down the pizza rabbit-hole, we’ll begin with some All-American style pizzas. These pizzas will crank your salivary glands into high-gear. They fall into the categories of “so crazy they just make sense” and “why didn’t I think of that?”

After America, we’ll take a trip around the world, going to Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Sweden. These places love pizza, but not as much as America. On average, Americans eat 100 acres of pizza a day. That’s a lot of pizza.

100-acres-of-pizza

Despite America’s number one spot in pizza consumption, the rest of the world loves their pizza, too. Around the world, pizza takes on many toppings. People love to personalize their pizza with their favorite toppings.

In the game of pizza, there are no right or wrong answers, and everyone comes out a winner. So throw the rule book out the window and prepare for some wacky and delicious pizza topping ideas. You’ll wish you thought of them.

Corn Dog Pizza

This pizza doesn’t offer the healthiest option, but so what? Few of life’s greatest pleasures come without strings attached. Make sure to put “corn dog pizza” on your bucket list — just not your daily grocery list.

It comes as little surprise this invention originated in Minnesota. Only a state famous for its love of food could dream up this crazy combo. The corn dog pizza first appeared at the Minnesota state fair. Gaining attention, this pizza soon inspired a craze for corn dog toppings.

Hot dogs often get thrown on pizza, but not corn dogs. The sweet, deep-fried batter of a corn dog meshes perfectly with a pizza. If you’ve only tried pizza with hot dogs, you’re missing out.

To make a corn dog pizza, the chef cuts several corn dogs length-wise and arranges them on the individual slices. From above, they diverge from the center like the spokes of a wheel — simply a thing of beauty. Go out and indulge in this guilty pleasure. We won’t tell your cardiologist.

Macaroni and Cheese Pizza

mac-n-cheese
Truly a modern classic, the macaroni and cheese pizza offers another pairing of two heavyweight dishes. Many restaurants in the country already cater to this pizza alternative. The rising popularity of macaroni pizza owes its appeal to a perfect match. Creamy, deliciously cheesy macaroni blanketing an already sumptuous pizza — who could ask for more? This obvious alliance uses the natural teamwork of two Italian classics: pasta and pizza.

Although macaroni and cheese originated in England and pizza in Italy, this pizza came straight from America. This pizza represents a true fusion of international tastes. But if you want to pump this pizza to the next level of perfect global harmony, add some pierogies.

The cheesy potatoes inside a soft pierogi just add more multinational flavor to this pizza. Smear some sour cream and bacon on board, and you’re in heaven. The mac and cheese — and sometimes pierogi — pizza offers a hearty pizza experience fit for the United Nations.

Giordano’s “Giardiniera”

Pickles on a pizza? It’s not as weird as it sounds, and even more delicious than you think. If you haven’t tried Giordano’s classic pickled “Giardiniera” toppings — you haven’t lived. We at Giordano’s proudly stand by Giardiniera.

Original Italian Giardiniera usually consists of a side dish of assorted pickled vegetables. The common ingredients of the Italian Giardiniera include:

  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers

The Italian version employs a marinade of red or white wine vinegar, oil and spices.

In Chicago, we do Giardiniera a little differently. Chicago-style Giardiniera features hot or mild peppers, bell peppers, celery, cauliflower, carrots, Serrano peppers, cucumbers and often crushed pepper flakes for added spice. Marinated in vinegar and oil, Chicago-style Giardiniera picks up where classic Italian leaves off.

Nothing beats spicy pickled Giardiniera on a pizza. Check out your options next time you come to Giordano’s. Make like Peter Piper and pick a peck of pickled peppers for your pizza.

Manhattan Caviar Pizza

Do you wish your pizza was more expensive? One way to crank up the price tag involves premium toppings. This pizza, offered at the Nino Bellisima restaurant in New York, goes for a steep $1000. The cost comes at the price of the caviar. This pizza starts off with six different types of the finest caviar. Then the restaurant adds lobster tails marinated in cognac and Scottish smoked salmon.

This ostentatious pizza costs $720 worth of toppings. The remaining $280 must pay for the skill involved in spooning caviar onto a pizza.

Certainly it’s a luxury pizza. This pizza takes toppings to a whole new level. Maybe rethink your next vacation and plan for a night in pizza heaven instead.

The Cicada Pizza

If you’ve ever watched contestants eat bugs on a game show and thought “I want to do that!” — well, here’s your chance. The cicada pizza is no joke, and it’s reportedly delicious. Truly the weirdest pizza topping in this list, the cicada pizza even has its own jingle.

This song emerged as a prankish response to the 1987 cicada swarm. The cicadas were especially bad that year — over 5 billion of these winged pests descended. Despite the catchy tune, no one actually made cicada pizzas to combat the insect horde. The song was only a comical suggestion.

But the notion of eating insects, for many people in the world, is not so ridiculous. Two billion people eat bugs on a daily basis. With global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, you will likely see bugs crawling onto your menu within your lifetime.

bugs

Many places already enjoy multi-legged snacks. From a crunchy bag of crickets in Southern Mexico to a deep-fried scorpion on a stick in China, there’s nothing unusual about chowing down on the local, abundant, highly nutritious wildlife. Even here in America, some people have incorporated bugs into food. For instance, Missouri — the home of the cicada pizza.

Cicada pizza works just like any pizza. Dough, tomato sauce, cheese and toppings — in this case, cicadas. Mike Arduser, a biologist from the Missouri Department of Conservation in St. Louis, attests to eating cicadas with no hesitation. Arduser enjoys the flavor of cicadas, a taste he describes as “nutty.”

Here are some tips for getting your own:

    • Arduser recommends catching your own cicadas right after emerging from chrysalis. The fresher the better. Cicadas mature quickly and become tough and chewy.
    • Get up bright and early at 4 a.m. to snatch the most tender cicadas. Arduser says, “They’re soft for just a few hours.”
    • Find the white or pale yellow ones. If you can identify the females from their sharper bottom, grab those — they have more meat.

If you possess an adventurous pizza palate or just want to pretend you’re on a gross-out game show, grab some cicada pizza.

Crocodile Pizza

Perfect for your next Crocodile Dundee movie night, the crocodile pizza captures the spirit of the outback. If you feel the pull of adventure, slap some crocodile on your pizza.

With its unique flavor, crocodile makes for an interesting and authentically Australian pizza topping. Some people describe the taste of crocodile as a mixture of pork and fish, and the texture as similar to lobster tail.

If you’re tempted to try this reptilian delicacy, you might need to travel to the source. Crocodile meat rarely finds a market outside of Australia. Many species of crocodile fall under the endangered category, but Australians regularly farm other, less-protected, breeds.

This farmed “bush meat” often makes its way onto Australian pizzas. Crocodile pizza frequently appears as an item on Australian menus. For anyone visiting the land of “Oz,” this pizza option tops the list of obligatory experiences.

If you can’t kick your hankering for this rare meat, then book a trip to the land down under. Dangle some corks along the rim of your hat and get ready to meet a bunch of guys named Bruce — you’re headed for Australia!

The Grand Prix Pizza

Grand-Prix
In the world of weird pizza, it’s not always about one crazy topping on a pizza, such as crocodile or cicada. Some of the most unusual pizzas employ topping combinations you would never consider.

Alone, most of the toppings on South Korea’s famous Grand Prix Pizza might not strike you as too strange. But acting in disorderly teamwork, these toppings make for one weird pizza.

Here’s the scenario. You come home late at night, bringing a hefty pizza craving with you. You look in the fridge and find an assortment of items. In the fever of inspiration and necessity, you throw make-shift toppings on your pizza. You look down at your Frankenstein pizza and shout “it’s alive!”

If all this seems like too much of a hassle, just order the Grand Prix — it’s a similar result.

The Grand Prix pizza has it all:

  • Shrimp
  • Corn
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Potato wedges
  • Bacon
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Raisins
  • A cookie dough crust

Yes, you heard right: a cookie dough crust. Ruthlessly combining savory and sweet, the Grand Prix truly deserves its prestigious name. If you feel the urge to up the sweetness, pour on some blueberry sauce — it comes recommended. Only the free-thinking South Korean company Mr. Pizza could have dreamed up this treat.

Although we’re sure everyone would love this crazy pizza, perhaps women might enjoy it more. Mr. Pizza markets the Grand Prix as “Made For Women.” Thanks to Mr. Pizza, women can finally enjoy a pizza with all their favorite toppings. Apparently women love crushed tortilla chips and raisins — who knew? Like Mel Gibson, Mr. Pizza seems to know “what women want.”

The next time you’re in South Korea and hungry for a truly feminine pizza, grab the Grand Prix. Although Mr. Pizza has a location in Los Angeles, they don’t seem to offer the Grand Prix. Sorry, ladies.

Abalone Sauce Cheesy Lava Stuffed Crust Pizza

People in Hong Kong love their seafood. This affection for the ocean comes out in Pizza Hut Hong Kong’s Abalone Sauce Cheesy Lava Stuffed Crust Pizza. The list of toppings for this pizza is even longer than its name:

  • Chicken
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Crayfish
  • Crab eggs
  • Abalone sauce
  • Mozzarella
  • Cheddar
  • Parmesan
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes

Packed with oceanic delight, this seafood lovers pizza won’t fail to disappoint. The commercial for this pizza also guarantees you’ll become stylish, loved and “feel like a star” simply by ordering this pizza.

This pizza boasts a unique abalone sauce. Abalone belong to a class of sea snail — they supposedly taste delicious. If the three-cheese pizza weren’t decadent enough, certainly the healthy dosage of sea snail paste should elevate this pizza to celebrity status.

Try a bite next time you’re in Hong Kong. With any luck, you’ll achieve the happiness promised by the commercial.

Swedish Banana Curry Pizza

You’ll go bananas for this weird Swedish pizza. When most people picture a pizza, they don’t think bananas. Swedish pizzas notoriously experiment with toppings, including bananas. As if bananas weren’t enough, Swedes top off this tropical pizza with curry.

The curious combo of sweet and salty involved in this pizza will give your taste buds a workout. The curry adds some extra heat to the equation. The bananas offset the spice with fruity sweetness. Swedes also like to throw black forest ham into the mix.

The tradition of banana pizza goes back to the 1970s, when bananas first became popular in Sweden. With the advent of foods such as bananas, the Swedes began experimenting. Avocados also became readily available during the 1970s. The Swedes incorporated avocados into desserts and put bananas on pizza.

Sweden loves to break pizza rules. In Sweden, most pizza shops also sell kebobs. Naturally, the kebob pizza offers a popular option for meat lovers. Top the kebob pizza with béarnaise sauce, and you’re dealing with an authentic Swedish pizza.

Other common Swedish pizza toppings include mussels, eggs, shrimp and tuna. Of course, they have the common American-style toppings, too, but why limit yourself to pepperoni?

Get Your Topping On

Don’t settle for the same old toppings. Get out and start experimenting with your pizza palate. Different countries like different pizza toppings. Trying regional varieties of pizza offers a great way to interact with a new place.

Don’t turn up your nose at weird pizza. Pizza can only improve with tasty toppings. Get out and try a new topping. You can always start with Giordano’s Giardiniera, but don’t hold back your pizza process. Let your taste expand and explore.