It's one of the most polarizing pizza creations outside of "pizza" bagels. At its core: salty slices of generic ham and chunks of pineapple straight out of the can plopped onto a plain cheese pizza. For something so simple, Hawaiian Pizza has garnered a whole lot of hatred.

But some of the city's newest pizzerias are breathing new life into the toppings combination, supplanting speck for cold cut ham and adding things like sliced jalapenos to up jazz up the already unique sweet-and-salty combination. Can these next wave pizzaiolos save the Hawaiian Pizza from its bad reputation? To move forward, first we must look back.

Despite its name, Hawaiian Pizza isn't from the Pacific archipelago. It was actually created in Canada in 1962 by a Greek ex-pat looking to do something with the surging popularity of tropical culture and flavors post-World War II. "People said 'you are crazy to do this," creator Sam Panopoulos recalled to Atlas Obscura. And yet, here we are today.

Social Drink & Food (Michael Tulipan)

The combination of sweet-salty-tart combination is popular in other iterations (see: margaritas), so why all the hate towards the Hawaiian? A quick poll around Gothamist HQ cited "ruin[ing] the glory of pizza with the stupidity of ham" and pineapple making the pizza soggy. Some restaurants worked around the latter by switching up the fruit, like Bruno in the East Village, who have a seasonal peach and ham pie. But others are going full Hawaiian, bringing the retro pie back into the limelight. Here are a few examples:

Emmy Squaredapplies their Detroit-style method to the Lou-Wow ($19), a thick crusted creation with mozzarella, spicy pineapple and ham topped with the restaurant's red sauce. "[Chef and owner] Matt [Hyland] loves Hawaiian pie because of the combination of the sweetness of the pineapples and the fatty, salty ham. It is a great flavor combo," co-owner Emily Hyland explained of their Hawaiian pie. "New Yorkers sometimes love to hate on this particular combo, but we think it is a great compliment of ingredients that work really well together!"

New rooftop eaterySocial Drink & Food and slice destinationBaker's Pizza both employ a spicy element in their versions. At the former, the Hula Hula ($12) uses the classic ham and pineapple with a scattering of fresh jalapenos, while at the latter, the Spicy Hawaiian ($20) uses speck—a lightly smoked ham similar to prosciutto—along with the pineapple and jalapenos. Pizza Beach adds rosemary to their Pineapple & Speck ($20 UES, $18 LES), which also comes with jalapenos.

Speedy Romeo

Neither Speedy Romeo nor Paulie Gee's are, strictly speaking, new (though the former's recent expansion does count), but they're both champions of the Hawaiian Pizza all the same. "Our riff on the Hawaiian pizza is named after Dick Dale the father of surf guitar rock," Speedy Romeo co-owner Todd Feldman revealed. "We layer it in bechamel and top it with speck, wood grilled scallions, provel cheese and of course pineapple." Paulie Gee's Porkypineapple ($16), meanwhile, uses Italian tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses baked with house-pickled pineapple and draped with speck once the pie's out of the oven.

So will these nostalgic pizza makers elevate the Hawaiian Pizza from flaccid corner slice reject to haute pie status? They're certainly going to try. And as long as they don't even look at a stalk of broccoli, we'll let them.