Check Out These Surprising Pizza Toppings From Around the World

Pizza is consumed by 5 billion people every year, all over the world. While we may all share the same love of the pie, we do have our preferences.

Delicious fresh pizza isolated on whitePhoto: Shutterstock / Africa Studio
Photo: Shutterstock / Africa Studio

It strikes me that pizza lovers everywhere have unleashed their creative prowess when it comes to making their choice of pizza toppings. Pizza can be a healthy option (and fast to make at home–pizza on a stick anyone?) if you select a healthy base and nutritious toppings.

According to some estimates, 5 billion people worldwide eat pizza every year. It’s interesting to note that all of these taste buds respond differently to certain types of food. Take a look at these 12 countries and their habits when it comes to choosing a pizza topping.


Shhhh… Don’t tell the kids. In Finland, the pizza toppings of choice when it comes to Pizza Berlusconi (named after a former Italian prime minister) are chanterelle mushrooms, red onion and reindeer. I guess this checks the protein box.


The Japanese are renowned for their long lifespans, and this could be one reason: They select their pizza toppings from a list of seafood types and replace the tomato sauce with squid ink, which contains proteins, healthy minerals and dopamine, a calming neurotransmitter.


Mockba is a Russian-style pizza combo that mixes tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, red herring and onions (typically served cold). All signs are pointing to a huge hit of omega 3 essential fatty acids.


Banana curry pizza, anyone?


Aah, the French do it well. I wouldn’t have considered this myself, but why not fry an egg (a protein boost) and lay it sunny side up over a bed of tomato sauce, arugula, spinach and cheese. Delish!


Let the spice lead the way, with chicken tikka cooked to perfection on a soft dough base. Yum.

Coast Rica

These Central Americans are all about what’s good for the body, which shines through in the pizza combination of shrimp and coconut.


The Australians have a few protein favorites, including kangaroo, crocodile and emu. They also enjoy a breakfast bonanza of ham, bacon and egg served with a hot cup of coffee before they set off for a work.


Minced mutton, pickled ginger and a type of cottage cheese called paneer is what to expect on a pizza in this South Asian country.


Green peas sprinkled over a bed of cheese? Yes, it’s a pizza thing in Brazil, along with quail eggs, carrots and beets.

United Kingdom

Up in the Scottish Highlands you could order a haggis pizza with cavolo nero (aka black cabbage) and black chile jam with mozzarella. So what is haggis? It’s a savory pudding made from sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs). It’s minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt and stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach. Sound tasty?

Palestinian territories

Sprinkle a handful of pine nuts on this Palestinian pizza after mixing a blend of spices, cinnamon and olive oil across the base.

If these global spins on your favorite pizza pie are a bit too adventurous, take baby steps with this Thai chicken pizza—a Taste of Home favorite.

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Cheryl Doherty
I have a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. I am a writing coach. Sometimes clients come to me to me because they want to write a book, develop content for their website and others discover they wanted to understand a personal situation better, and writing for them acts as a form of therapy. I worked in corporate marketing for ten years and have been a digital marketer developing websites and web content for a further ten. I love adventure. I love to travel. I love to cook with fresh ingredients. I love all things native. My family live in British Columbia. I live in Wales, UK with my two sons. This year we travelled for four months around BC, Canada. We broke out of our comfort zone and lived. It's something that I want to do again and again.