Is This Some Weird British Thing about Pizza?

There’s a British show called Secret Eaters that I saw a couple of episodes of on YouTube. In it, large people are asked to estimate how much they eat, and keep a food journal. The show then follows them around with private investigators, and then confronts the large people with their denial about the amount of food they consume.
Oh yeah, and then presents them with a “healthy living plan” that solves all their problems apparently.

In one of these episodes, the show recorded a large couple eating at a pizzeria. When they got their pizza, they both poured olive oil on the slices!

Whaaaaaa??? Who pours olive oil on their pizza? I know in some quarters, folks dip pieces of bread into olive oil. But that’s dry bread. Pizza has plenty of grease to begin with, why would you need more?

Throughout my fifty years and more, I’ve watched a lot of people eat a lot of pizza. Pizza is an integral part of my working life, in that I work above a pizza restaurant. And I have never, NEVER seen someone pour olive oil on a pizza.

Yet while the show tsk-tsk’s the couple for doing this, they don’t seem surprised by it at all. The show even suggests that, for lower calories, folks should use a teaspoon to add olive oil to a pizza, instead of pouring it out of a bottle like the large couple do. That implies that there are other Brits who do this inexplicable practice!

Does anyone here pour olive oil on pizza, or have you seen someone do this? If so, is this a British thing, or what?

Because the pizza they make gets dry?

Not a UKer but I often drizzle something on my pizza after baking. My personal go-to is hot sauce and honey but I could see using a nice evoo on something like a margherita or neapolitan that has a relatively simple preparation.

On a slice of dominos, I think it would be a waste of good olive oil.

As a sidenote, I watched the first episode after someone linked to it here. I’ve never before seen a ‘reality’ tv show where literally nothing that happened was a surprise from the title onwards.

When I make a Pizza Margherita, I drizzle some (very good) olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the pie.

When I was in Sicily 35-ish years ago, you could order pizza with olive oil as a topping. Does taht count?

I’ve very occasionally seen Neapolitan or flatbread pizza recipes which finish a wood fired pizza with a drizzle of infused (usually truffle or garlic/rosemary) olive oil before serving it. Typically these are pizzas that don’t have tomato sauce though, so the oil is pretty much the only moisture.

As far as table-side dressing with oil…yeah, every bit as perplexed as you are on that. If this is a semi-common thing in the UK I’m never again taking shit from a Brit about Ranch dressing again.

I always drizzle olive oil on my pizza and let the crust soak it up. It has to be a good green EVOO, though. If it’s infused with garlic, thats even better.

When I make deep-dish pizza, I coat the pan liberally with olive oil before I put the crust in, too. If I’m using anchovies packed in olive oil, I also drizzle the oil from the can over the pizza, so nothing goes to waste.

I love good olive oil. Back in the '80s, I had a girlfriend who freaked out when she saw me dipping my pizza crust in olive oil. I’m sorry now I didn’t do it more often in front of her. :smiley:

The problem is that the Brits cook pizza by boiling it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Can I just say, on behalf of the civilised/house trained minority in the UK, that nothing the British do with pizza would surprise me.

The best thing to do to pizza in the UK is avoid it.

I have a distant memory that those bottles contain oil infused with chilli. Actually, I’m not sure if that’s even a British idea. If it is, it’s one of the better ones.


My former housemate drizzles chilli infused oil on his, mostly on the crust. Plain olive oil is a new one on me.

I’m not British, and I’ve definitely drizzled olive oil on pizza before, but for Neapolitan styles of pizza. I wouldn’t do it with an American style pie. Usually, though, the pizza is already served with a drizzle, of the type requires/suggests it.

I think there’s a sector of the British public who have a slightly fetishistic relationship to olive oil.

I blame Jamie Oliver. He seems to finish absolutely everything he cooks with a dwizzle of the old olive oil… Pukka!

Were the couple Mr and Mrs Creosote, perhaps?

Drizzling olive oil is a fairly common option in independent SoCal pizzarias.

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I have never encountered that here.

To clarify, I understand that olive oil may be used in cooking the pizza. But pouring or sprinkling olive oil on a pizza once it’s at your table is just bizarre. I find this far more offensive, speaking as a Chicagoan, than ketchup on a hot dog.

Ketchup on a hot dog, mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! :o

When I was living in Scotland, I encountered deep-fried pizza.

Up until right now I considered that the weirdest thing that anyone could ever do to a pizza (though in the frigid northern January you do appreciate a good solid helping of salt’n’fat)

There actually is such a thing a pizza fritta, and it is a Neapolitan thing, as well, so the Scots weren’t the first to do this.

It looks like the pizza fritta style goes back to WWII or post-WWII, from what I can dig up about it. Here’s another approach to it, where the dough is first deep-fried, then topped and finished in a hot oven, as opposed to the pizza puff/hot pocket approach of the last video. ETA: Heck, if you want to see a local approach to the pizza fritta/pizza puff, check out this gyros pizza puff monstrosity. Pizza puffs are more typically the size of your hand. I believe they’re more of a Chicago-area fast food, but I could be wrong about that.