On Sunday morning, a user tweeting under the handle @moonemojii shared a photograph of strawberry-topped pizza. Quite frankly, it's a hideous photograph.
"Strawberries>>pineapples," the caption reads, as if goading onlookers to disagree. As the now-viral photograph shows quite clearly, the strawberries in question are unevenly distributed on the pizza's surface, folded and jammed rather violently into the mozzarella. A bite of 'za, a splash of fruit. Halloween's here early, baby!
To say the photograph was polarizing would be counterfactual: Most people expressed absolute disgust at the sight of this, perceiving it to be a gastronomic freak show. It doesn't help that the dish looks as if it was photographed with a potato; the dim, doleful lighting does the already unphotogenic pizza no favors.
So, is strawberry pizza... a thing?
Believe it or not, there's nothing novel about strawberry pizza. It's a dish that's existed long before this image circulated, albeit largely in dessert form; most function as dessert pies topped with cream cheese. Poke a bit more around the internet, though, and you'll find a few recipes for savory variations that manage to serve strawberry alongside other ingredients, typically meat or herbs. Consider strawberry pizza with bacon and caramelized onions. Balsamic strawberry and chicken pizza with sweet onions and smoked bacon. Strawberry balsamic and goat cheese pizza. Strawberry pizza with fresh mozzarella, basil, and, yet again, a balsamic reduction. The list goes on.
It helps, too, that most of these strawberry-adorned pizzas are photographed rather handsomely, and thus look pretty appetizing. "Strawberries on a pizza might seem a little funny at first, but if you think about it, tomatoes are fruit, too," blogger Kathryne Taylor of "Cookie + Kate" writes in the preamble to her 2013 recipe for Strawberry, Basil and Balsamic Pizza. "The strawberries get all juicy and roasty in the oven like tomatoes do, too."
"This is the first I've seen this and it's pretty funny," Matthew Hyland of Emily Pizza in New York wrote MUNCHIES over email Monday morning when shown this image. "I am not opposed to anything on a pizza that tastes good, but It looks like from the picture that those strawberries are out of season and probably don't taste good to begin with. In season, I'd be willing to try it on a pizza maybe with something like with spinach and bacon."
Fine points all around. The original tweeter and Taylor did not respond to immediate requests for comment from MUNCHIES regarding how they feel about this beloved concoction being the internet's latest punching bag.