Pepperoni, Hawaiian and four cheese. From Glasgow to Singapore, these classic pizza varieties have long transcended the need for translation. In any language, they are simply delicious.
But when you order a delivery pizza in Hong Kong, these classic options are a rarity. Instead, we are presented with absurdities such as the abominable crab pizza.
From scallops and clams to the notorious shark fin soup, it's no secret that Hongkongers love seafood. However, such fare has no place on a pizza. Not only is trying to eat shrimp from a bread base topped with tomato and cheese extremely awkward, it just tastes weird. Equally odd are squid rings scattered over a pizza. And don't get me started on crayfish.
In Hong Kong, you also have to dodge the thousand island base. Not only is that a salad dressing, it is one made from mayonnaise. The same mayonnaise that must be kept cool, never left out, and certainly not warmed up, if one wishes to avoid salmonella. Slathering it on a hot pizza contradicts everything we've ever been told about the egg-based condiment.
Forgetting whether or not thousand island dressing on a pizza is good for our health, the far more pressing question is whether it is good for our palate. The answer is no. (The same applies, I'm sure, to the peach, hot dog and beef pizza I saw on a menu the other day, too).
And then there is the crust. Why are we stuffing them with cocktail sausages or replacing them with potato skins? We're even filling them with fish roe and cream cheese. Stop!
Hong Kong, please stick to eating seafood in seafood restaurants and let us enjoy our unstuffed crusts in fish-free peace, and keep salad dressings for, well salad!