From international flavors to iconic ingredients, these toppings bring a unique and unforgettable twist to your pizza creations. Indulge in a world of delicious possibilities with these pizza toppings that start with the letter ‘I’!
1. Iceberg Lettuce
Iceberg lettuce is a popular pizza topping known for its crisp texture and mild flavor. While it is primarily used as a salad ingredient, it can also be added as a topping to enhance the freshness and crunch of a pizza. Originating in the United States, Iceberg lettuce gained popularity for its versatility and ability to add a refreshing element to dishes. Although it is not a traditional pizza topping in Italy, it has become a common addition in various parts of the world, especially in North America. Its cool and crispy nature complements other toppings like tomatoes, cheese, and dressings, providing a pleasant contrast of textures.
2. Iberico Ham
Iberico ham, also known as jamón ibérico, is a prized pizza topping originating from Spain. It is made from the meat of Iberian pigs, which are known for their acorn-rich diet and unique flavor profile. The hams are dry-cured and aged for an extended period, resulting in a rich, savory, and slightly nutty taste. Iberico ham is highly regarded for its melt-in-your-mouth texture and intense flavor. It is often thinly sliced and placed on top of pizzas, adding a luxurious touch and a distinct taste. This premium ingredient is particularly popular in Spain and is enjoyed worldwide by those who appreciate the exquisite flavors of cured meats.
3. Italian Seasoning
Italian seasoning, also known as Italian herbs, is a blend of dried herbs and spices commonly used to enhance the flavors of Italian cuisine. The exact combination of herbs may vary, but it typically includes a mixture of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sometimes garlic and onion powder. As a pizza topping, Italian seasoning adds a burst of aromatic and savory notes to the overall taste. It can be sprinkled on top of pizzas, incorporated into the sauce, or even mixed with olive oil as a drizzle. Italian seasoning pays homage to the traditional flavors found in Italian dishes. It is popularly used in various styles of pizzas worldwide, offering a taste reminiscent of the Mediterranean region.
4. Incas Tomato
Incas tomato, also known as Inca tomato or Inca berry, is a small fruit native to the Andean region of South America. It is known for its vibrant orange color and distinctive sweet-tart flavor. While not as commonly used as traditional tomatoes on pizzas, Incas tomatoes can be a unique and flavorful topping option for those seeking something different. They can be sliced and added to pizzas either fresh or roasted, bringing a burst of tangy sweetness to the overall flavor profile. The Incas tomato is popular in the Andean region, including countries like Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador, where it is used in a variety of culinary applications. Its introduction as a pizza topping showcases the exploration of diverse flavors and the incorporation of indigenous ingredients into modern cuisine.
5. Irish Cheddar Cheese
Irish cheddar cheese is a popular pizza topping that hails from Ireland, a country renowned for its dairy products. Made from cow’s milk, Irish cheddar cheese is known for its rich and creamy texture, as well as its distinct sharp and nutty flavor. It is a versatile cheese that melts beautifully when heated, making it an ideal choice for pizzas. Irish cheddar cheese is particularly popular in Ireland and the United Kingdom, where it is widely used as a topping on various dishes, including pizza. Its robust flavor adds depth to the overall taste, and its smooth meltability contributes to the gooey and satisfying texture of a cheesy pizza.
6. Idiazabal Cheese
Idiazabal cheese is a traditional Basque cheese that originated in the Basque Country of Spain. It is made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk and has a distinctive smoky flavor, which comes from the cheese being smoked over beechwood. This hard cheese has a firm and slightly crumbly texture, and its flavor can range from mild and buttery to more robust and intense, depending on the aging process. Idiazabal cheese is popular both as a standalone cheese and as a pizza topping, particularly in the Basque region and other parts of Spain. Its unique smokiness adds a delicious depth of flavor to pizzas, and its versatility makes it a great complement to various other ingredients.
7. Indigo Rose Tomato
The Indigo Rose tomato is an heirloom tomato variety that showcases a striking deep purple color, almost resembling the color of indigo. This tomato variety was developed through traditional breeding techniques to obtain its unique hue and exceptional taste. Originating in the United States, Indigo Rose tomatoes have gained popularity among gardeners and food enthusiasts for their visual appeal and rich flavor. While not as commonly used as traditional red tomatoes, Indigo Rose tomatoes can be used as a pizza topping to add a vibrant and visually striking element to the dish. With a balanced sweetness and a slightly tart undertone, they offer a delightful burst of flavor when incorporated into pizzas, showcasing the endless possibilities for creative and visually appealing pizza toppings.
8. Iberico Salami
Iberico salami is a savory and flavorful pizza topping that originates from Spain, specifically from the Iberian Peninsula. It is made from the meat of Iberian pigs, a breed native to the region, known for their grazing on acorns and herbs. The meat is seasoned with a blend of spices, including paprika, garlic, and black pepper, and cured to develop its distinct taste and texture. Iberico salami is cherished for its rich, nutty flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is a popular pizza topping in Spain and is also appreciated in other parts of the world where Spanish cuisine has made its mark. The indulgent and complex flavors of Iberico salami elevate the taste of pizzas, offering a delicious and gourmet experience for salami enthusiasts. While both Iberico Salami and Iberico Ham are derived from the meat of the Iberian pig, they differ in terms of their preparation, texture, and flavor. The salami is a cured sausage, while the ham is a cured leg of the pig. Each offers its own distinct taste and is appreciated for its unique qualities in the culinary world.
9. Idaho Potato
Idaho potato is a pizza topping that showcases the versatility of this starchy vegetable. Originating from the state of Idaho in the United States, these potatoes are known for their high starch content, which gives them a fluffy and creamy texture when cooked. Idaho potatoes are often thinly sliced or diced and used as a topping on pizzas. When cooked, they add a soft and satisfying texture along with a subtle, earthy flavor. Idaho potato toppings can be found in various pizza styles, including potato-based pizzas popular in certain regions of the United States and Europe.
10. Italian Parsley
Italian parsley, also known as flat-leaf parsley, is an herb widely used in Italian cuisine and makes a flavorful pizza topping. Originating from the Mediterranean region, Italian parsley has a robust and slightly peppery taste that adds freshness and a pleasant herbal note to pizzas. It is often used as a garnish, chopped and sprinkled over the pizza after baking to add a pop of vibrant green color and a subtle, aromatic flavor. Italian parsley is popular not only in Italy but also in various countries where Italian cuisine has influenced culinary traditions.
11. Italian Pepperoncini
Italian pepperoncini, sometimes referred to as Tuscan peppers, are mild chili peppers that originate from Italy. These small and tangy peppers are usually yellow or green in color and have a slightly sweet and fruity flavor. They are often pickled or brined and sliced before being used as a pizza topping. Italian pepperoncini adds a delightful tang and a hint of spiciness to pizzas, balancing out other flavors. They are particularly popular in Italian-American cuisine, where they are commonly used as a topping for various dishes, including pizzas and sandwiches.
12. Italian Black Truffle
Italian black truffles are a prized delicacy known for their earthy and intense aroma. These edible fungi grow underground, forming a symbiotic relationship with certain tree roots. Truffles are harvested with the help of trained dogs or pigs, as they possess the ability to detect the scent of truffles. Italian black truffles are highly regarded in gourmet cuisine, and their distinct flavor and aroma make them a luxurious pizza topping. The shaved or grated truffle is usually added as a finishing touch after the pizza is cooked to preserve its delicate flavors. Italian black truffle toppings are more commonly found in upscale restaurants or pizzerias that offer high-end culinary experiences.
13. Icing Sugar
Icing sugar, also known as powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar, is a fine powder made from finely ground granulated sugar. It is commonly used as a sweet topping or decoration for desserts, but it can also be used as a unique and unexpected pizza topping. Originating from ancient Egypt, icing sugar is now popular worldwide. When sprinkled lightly over a dessert-style pizza, it adds a touch of sweetness and a visually appealing dusting. While not a traditional pizza topping, the creative use of icing sugar can bring a delightful twist to dessert pizzas, especially when paired with ingredients like fresh fruits, chocolate, or sweet sauces.
While not a common pizza topping, insects have gained attention in recent years as a unique and sustainable source of protein. In certain cultures, such as parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, insects have been consumed for centuries and are considered a delicacy. However, the use of insects as a pizza topping is still relatively experimental and limited. Some adventurous pizzerias and food enthusiasts have explored the idea of incorporating edible insects, such as crickets or mealworms, onto pizzas. The insects are typically prepared by roasting, seasoning, or grinding into a powder before being sprinkled on top of the pizza. This unconventional topping provides an interesting texture and flavor profile, adding a hint of earthiness and nuttiness to the overall taste. While it may not be widely popular worldwide, the use of insects as pizza toppings showcases culinary innovation and the exploration of alternative protein sources.
Isaw is a popular street food in the Philippines made from grilled or deep-fried chicken or pork intestines. It is known for its unique texture and rich flavor. While traditionally enjoyed on its own as a snack, isaw has also found its way onto pizzas in certain Filipino-inspired pizzerias. When used as a pizza topping, the grilled or fried isaw is typically sliced into smaller pieces and scattered over the pizza. It adds a smoky and savory taste, creating a distinctive Filipino twist to the pizza. Isaw-topped pizzas are more prevalent in the Philippines and Filipino communities around the world, where the street food culture and love for bold flavors are celebrated. The incorporation of isaw on pizzas pays homage to the vibrant and diverse culinary heritage of the Philippines.
16. Italian Sausage
Italian sausage is a popular pizza topping that originated in Italy, specifically in regions like Sicily and Calabria. It is made from ground pork that is seasoned with various herbs and spices, including fennel seeds, garlic, and paprika. The mixture is typically stuffed into natural casings and then cooked or smoked to enhance the flavors. Italian sausage adds a savory and slightly spicy element to pizzas, complementing other ingredients like tomato sauce, cheese, and vegetables. It is particularly favored in Italian-American cuisine and is widely enjoyed in pizza-loving communities around the world. Whether in the form of crumbled or sliced sausage, it brings a delicious taste of Italy to pizza creations and remains a classic choice for pizza lovers seeking a hearty and flavorful topping.
17. Indian Spices
Indian spices refers to a blend of aromatic spices commonly used in Indian cuisine, which can also be used as a pizza topping to infuse the pizza with vibrant flavors. The specific combination of spices may vary, but it typically includes ingredients like cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon, among others. These spices are ground and blended together to create a unique flavor profile that is both fragrant and complex. When sprinkled onto pizzas, Indian spice adds a distinct Indian flair, providing a hint of warmth and a touch of exoticism. It pairs well with a variety of toppings, including vegetables, meats, and even cheese, allowing for a fusion of Indian and Italian culinary influences on the pizza.
18. Indian Peppers
Indian peppers, also known as Indian chili peppers or Indian hot peppers, are spicy peppers that are native to India and widely used in Indian cuisine. These peppers come in various varieties and levels of heat, ranging from mild to extremely hot, such as the famous Bhut Jolokia or Naga Morich peppers. When used as a pizza topping, Indian peppers add a fiery kick and intense flavor to the dish. They can be sliced, chopped, or even pickled to suit personal preferences. Indian peppers are particularly popular in regions where spicy food is cherished, such as parts of India, Southeast Asia, and certain communities around the world that appreciate the heat and boldness of Indian cuisine.