Scandinavia is a magical land of Danish modernism, dark winters, socialized medicine, H&M, Ikea, and pizzas out of a fabulist’s dream (or nightmare?). The quirky and artistic sensibilities of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark extend to the imaginative pizzas popular in the region. They don’t abide by traditional constraints – anything can be a pizza topping with some faith and determination. And so, we present to you the pizzas of Scandinavia. Maybe they’ll inspire your next trip, or just your next pizza order.
Perhaps owing partially to the fact that pizza became popular in Sweden in the ‘70s, Swedish pizzas are topped with exotic and bizarre combinations of ingredients from across the globe.
Africana: Perhaps the most infamous of Swedish pizzas, what is often called the Africana includes bananas, curry powder, peanuts, and chicken or ham. Some pizzerias also include raisins on this pizza, making it only a few m&ms short of trail mix.
Meatballs: Of course Swedish meatballs need to be a pizza topping – this makes total sense. In Sweden, meatball pizzas are often served with béarnaise sauce. Would eat.
Pizza Salad: Every pizza in Sweden is served with pizzasallad, a tangy coleslaw salad with red pepper that looks very similar to coleslaw. Some people eat it as a side, others eat it on top of the pizza.
Gräddost: Instead of mozzarella, Swedish pizzas are often topped with gräddost, a nutty Swedish cream cheese made from cow’s milk.
Kebabpizza: Topped with doner kebab, pepperoncini, and kebab sauce, this popular pizza is sometimes crowned with fresh lettuce and French fries after baking for the true kebab experience.
Frutti di Mare: This seafood pizza is topped with tuna, shrimp, and mussels.
According to a 2004 Nielsen survey, Norwegians eat the most pizza per capita of anywhere in the world. What kind of pizza do they eat?
Lørdagspizza: translated as Saturday pizza, this traditional homemade pizza is hand formed in a rectangular pan. Minced meat is mixed with the tomato sauce, which is then topped with cheese.
Pizza Grandiosa: Norway’s most popular frozen pizza is often joking called the country’s national dish.
Popular toppings: While Norway doesn’t seem to have taken as innovative an approach to pizza as Sweden, popular pizza toppings include sweet corn and shrimp. Pizzerias offer cold sauces to top their pizzas. A garlic sour cream sauce seems to be the most popular.
Pizza Berlusconi: After a jab by then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at Finish cuisine, the Finish named a pizza after him. Inspired by stereotypes about Finnish food, the Berlusconi is topped with smoked reindeer, mushrooms, and red onions. The pizza is now served in restaurants across the country.
Special Opera: A veritable symphony of flavors, the Special Opera is the most popular combination at Finland’s largest pizza chain, Kotipizza. This pizza is topped with ham, salami, and tuna.
DenmarkBæst: Michelin-starred chef Christian Puglisi’s restaurant Bæst serves up pizza made on a sour, fermented crust. The combination of Italian tradition and haute Danish cuisine makes for a pizza described as a combination of a traditional roman slice and a Danish smorgasboard.