Point/Counterpoint: Broccoli on pizza
Should broccoli be crowned a worthy pizza topping or does this vegetable miss the mark?
Pizza. Very few people can honestly say they don’t like it. People are also passionate about what belongs on a pizza. Is cheese pizza too boring? Does pineapple belong on pizza? Well today, we are going to butt heads about broccoli’s place on Italy’s most famous pie.
Broccoli just doesn’t work
Some things are just not meant to be pizza toppings. No matter how great they are on their own, or in other dishes, it takes a special kind of food to pull off being a pizza topping. Broccoli is not one of those foods. Don’t get me wrong — I love broccoli with a passion. I don’t hesitate when I say it is the world’s best vegetable, but it is bar none, the worst pizza topping that has ever existed.
I have eaten my fair share of controversial or even weird pizza toppings from corn to pineapples, and even pears. I can see the argument for those, but not broccoli.
The perfect pizza has soft textures with bold flavours that compliment its structure. Broccoli is all wrong. It’s a crunchier food, even when fully cooked, and never tastes like anything. Like pizza, broccoli is a conduit for stronger flavours. You just can’t have a mild food paired with a different, even milder food.
As well, all pizza toppings are thin and spread out. Broccoli is a stocky food that’s almost impossible to slice finely or nicely. When trying to take a bite out of your pizza, it creates this lump higher than the rest that would surely fall off as soon as you take a bite. Broccoli is just too awkward to try and add it to finger food.
If you can’t take my word for it, let’s turn to the greatest movie of our generation: Inside Out. I will never forget the moment the characters see broccoli pizza for the first time, and the absolute horror that overtakes them. That should be a lesson to everyone that anything even remotely resembling broccoli does not belong on a pizza.
Give broccoli a chance
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Eewwwww!!! What spawn of Satan would put a tree of doom on a dish considered perfection?
I wouldn’t blame you if you are one of the unlucky people who have a gene which makes broccoli extra detestable. However, I think broccoli deserves better. It has become an iconic vegetable children wrinkle their nose at. It’s the kid who everyone knows, but no one wants to invite to their lunch table. The cards are stacked against broccoli when it comes to a future on pizza, but I want to convince you that this underdog in the pizza game should not be swept to the curb so quickly.
So why should you put broccoli on your pizza? Well, why would you dip french fries in your milkshake? Why combine chicken and waffles? Why make a peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich? In theory, all of these combinations should be disgusting, but anyone who has poured sweet maple syrup onto fried chicken knows how magical the dynamic duo of sweet and salty is. And Elvis Presley, the king himself, can attest to peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches.
But just pouring maple syrup onto plain chicken breast is not my idea of a Friday night out. The key is how you prepare it. For broccoli to work on pizza, you need to scrap the Inside Out version of it (Disgust is in the driver’s seat in that situation). Chef Google gave me numerous recipes for broccoli pizza, all of which raised water levels in the ocean called my mouth.
In addition, human taste is more than just flavours; texture is also important. Why put chips in your burger? To add texture. For pizza, what is missing is crunch and I think broccoli can fill that role.
Like most parents, mine encouraged me to always try everything at least once, no matter whether your first impressions are good or bad (except for drugs, don’t do drugs). The same goes for broccoli on pizza and I can personally say that broccoli does work on pizza, if only as a way to make my family physician happy. Before being firm in your belief that broccoli is unworthy of being a pizza topping, try it properly — four cheese white broccoli pizza anyone?
As the American writer and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer once put it, “the highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”