Pizzas Around the World    

Pizza is a favorite food all over the world. While the basics may be the same, you will find a world of difference in the types of toppings depending on where you are. And you can find pizza in just about every corner of the globe. When you are traveling, be sure to try the pizza when you find yourself in a new place. You may have your creativity awakened and will have a new set of combinations to try when you return home.Here is a sampling of regional favorites from around the world.

Japan
There are actual two types of pizzas in Japan: the regular American-style pizza and okonomiyaki, which is Japanese-style pizza.

The American-style pizza is similar to the pizzas found in the U.S. The Japanese love seafood on their pizzas, as well as a variety of other typical and not-so-typical ingredients. You will often find pizzas topped with sweet corn, potatoes, mayonnaise, and hard boiled eggs. One specialty pizza is the Squid Ink Pizza, in which the tomato sauce is replaced by a black squid ink sauce. You can also get cod roe, tuna, octopus, and seaweed on your pizza. There are several familiar large chains in Japan, such as Shakeys, Pizza Hut, and Dominos, as well as many small local pizza shops.

Japanese-style pizza, called okonomiyaki, is a pancake type round made of flour, water, eggs, and chopped cabbage. Additional ingredients are added, such as chopped beef, octopus, mushrooms, onions, and any type of other ingredients. These extra ingredients are added into the batter, and it is then poured onto a griddle and cooked like a pancake. It is served cut into pie shaped wedges on a plate topped with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). In fact, the katsuobushi is sliced so thin that it kind of waves in the heat from the okonomiyaki, making it look as if the top of your pizza is moving and alive. The okonomiyaki sauce is similar to a teriyaki sauce. When you order okonomiyaki in a restaurant, you are often given a bowl of ingredients which you cook yourself on a griddle.

India
Pizza is not necessarily a foreign taste in India. Naan, an unleavened bread is similar in taste and texture to pizza crust, and is often served brushed with butter and garlic. It isn't that big a jump to a pizza, especially considering that Indians traditionally eat with their hands.

You can find Pizza Hut and Dominos in India, along with other chains such as Pizza Corner, which is a larger chain in India. While you can find typical toppings, Indians also like tandoori chicken and chicken tikka. Other toppings include minced mutton, pickled ginger, tofu, and a cottage cheese-like dairy product called paneer. Indians like to top their pizzas with plenty of chili flakes, ketchup, and other condiments.

Estimates reveal that up to 80 percent of Indians are vegetarians, so the pizza business reflects that, often having separate areas in their kitchens for the preparation of vegetarian and non-vegetarian pizzas. Pizza shops in Muslim areas leave pepperoni off their menus, and in areas where there are concentrations of Jains, a religion that prohibits eating onions or garlic, those are absent from the menus as well. Many pizza shops also sell salads, soup, and ice cream.

Brazil
People love pizza in Brazil. In fact, there is a sizable Italian population in Brazil. Pizza in Brazil usually has a very thin layer of tomato sauce as a base on a thin crust. Along with some familiar toppings, you can also order corn, quail eggs, green peas, shredded carrots, beets, raisins, heart of palm, linguica sausage, guava jam, bananas, chocolate, and catupiry cheese, which is a type of cream cheese. Many pizza eaters in Brazil put ketchup or mustard on their pizzas.

Russia
Russia has also seen the influx of the large American chains. You can order a pizza with traditional toppings, but also with sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and onions, a combination called "mockba." Many Russians will also order a pizza with red herring.

Saudi Arabia
Due to religious concerns, all meat toppings in Saudi Arabia are 100 percent beef, as pork is not eaten in this country.

Australia
Australians love their pizza too. Here you'll find pizza menus with ingredients such as cabanossi, capsicum, prawns, diced pumpkin, tomato chutney, eggs, and lamb. Favorite combinationsalso include ham and pineapple, shrimp and pineapple, and pizzas with barbeque chicken. The top ingredients in Australia are, in this order, pineapple, ham, peppers, and then pepperoni.

Romania
Pizzas are usually thin-crust. They are topped with a minimal amount of sauce and cheese, but have plenty of other toppings. Toppings feature lots of vegetables, including corn. Pizzas are often served with ketchup on the side in two varieties, dulce (sweet) or picante (hot).