Dining With Denise Neil

The great 'pineapple-on-pizza' debate bubbles up in Wichita, and it's getting heated

Although he thinks that pineapple belongs anywhere but on pizza, Piatto owner Robert McMullin is giving in for National Pizza Party Day.
Although he thinks that pineapple belongs anywhere but on pizza, Piatto owner Robert McMullin is giving in for National Pizza Party Day. San Luis Obispo Tribune

If Robert McMullin is known for anything (besides the amazing Neapolitan-style pizzas he makes at his popular pizzeria, Piatto), it's his stance on pineapple.

It's a wonderful fruit with many fine qualities, he says. But it DOES NOT belong on pizza.

McMullin's friends and customers are well aware of his position, so much so that they give him grief about it constantly. Rarely a day goes by when he does not receive a meme via text or Facebook that references the great Pineapple on Pizza debate, which has been raging for years. The president of Iceland even suggested he'd like to ban it, and chef Gordon Ramsay once declared it a "monstrosity."

"The first time I saw it, I think I was confused," McMullin said. "I have never liked pineapple on pizza. I never understood it."

But McMullin also is a reasonable man, and he has a few customers who have been ribbing him, harassing him and just short of begging him to give pineapple a chance in his restaurant.

Reluctantly, he's giving in. But just for one day.

On Friday, which is National Pizza Party Day, McMullin is serving a pizza topped with pineapple. It'll be his take on the classic Hawaiian pizza, but his will have prosciutto instead of Canadian bacon.

If it's a huge hit, he might — MIGHT — reconsider his position.

"Only if we find there's overwhelming demand for it," he said. "Even then, I'm on the fence."

Piatto, 1706 E. Douglas, is open from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday.

So where do you land on the pineapple-on-pizza debate?

Wichita Eagle food writer Denise Neil takes a journey to find out if pizza you buy at a gas station is as good as some tell her it is. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)

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