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Greek Hawaiian pizza inventor passes

He was a Greek. He lived in Canada. And he had the "inspiration" for "Hawaiian" pizza, which a long time ago divided pizza afficionados.

Sam Panopoulos left his last breath on Thursday, age 84. But he left behind a ... delicious heritage. He migrated from Greece to Canada in 1954 when he was 20 years old. He had encountered pizza in Naples, on a brief stop of the ship he was traveling with. After settling in Canada, he became the owner of several successful restaurants along with his two brothers, according to the BBC.

In one of these restaurants, in Ontario, in 1962, Panopoulos had the inspiration to add pineapple slices to pizza. "We just put the pineapple on a pie to see what it tastes like. We were new in the field and we did a lot of experiments," he recently explained to the BBC. Initially they tried with olives and anchovies. But it was a time when canned pineapples existed in every home in Canada. They already served some Chinese dishes and knew that customers would try something sweet and salty. So he just put pineapple on pizza.

Several people, as he had said in an earlier interview, called him crazy. But he liked the taste and soon began to advertise his inspiration. Eventually, customers loved the combination and so Hawaiian pizza was the "born".